BUDGET 2018: Gov’t to purchase second Mammography machine

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The government will be moving to purchase a second mammography machine next year in order to boost its capacity to diagnose and treat breast cancer, Finance Minister Winston Jordan has announced.

“Screening for breast cancer no longer needs to be outsourced at great cost to patients, as capacity is being built for early diagnosis and treatment of this type of cancer,” the Finance Minister said.

The government has budgeted to spend another $33.3 billion in the health sector, 7 percent more than in 2017, 12.5 percent of Budget 2018 and 4.2 percent of the GDP.

Jordan added that the public health system will also benefit from a new viral load machine, procured this year, to improve capacity for HIV testing, Zika screening, and other special tests, some of which had to be sent overseas.

He noted too that “we will also be piloting a point of care testing programme at the National Care and Treatment Centre, in 2018, for non-HIV sexually transmitted infections.”

Meanwhile, he further disclosed that $2.4B has been allocated for the upgrading, maintenance and construction of health infrastructure across the country; nearly $600 million has been budgeted for the procurement of medical equipment, and over $2.2 billion has been allocated for drugs and medical supplies.

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