USF provides $17.5 m to upgrade bandwidth of health facilities

Minister of Science, Energy and Technology Fayval Williams (second right); Minister of Health and Wellness Christopher Tufton; Chief Medical Officer Dr Jacquiline Bisasor-McKenzie; and Chief Executive Officer, Universal Service Fund (USF), Daniel Dawes

The Universal Service Fund (USF) has provided $17.5 million in information and communications technology (ICT) support to the Ministry of Health and Wellness.

Minister of Science, Energy and Technology Fayval Williams handed over the cheque during a digital press conference at the Health Ministry’s New Kingston offices on Wednesday.

She said that the support being provided by the USF will boost the bandwidth capacity of health facilities across the island in the fight against the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“The upgraded connectivity is to facilitate an uptick in the demand for connectivity by the Ministry of Health and Wellness, through videoconferencing, data transfer and archiving activities during the national response to the coronavirus,” she noted.

She said that the additional bandwidth capacity will enable healthcare providers to engage with telemedicine and virtual clinics. Minister of Health and Wellness, Christopher Tufton, said the support from the USF is critical as the nation combats COVID-19.

“These resources will be very useful, and the data transmission is absolutely critical,” he noted.