Dr. Christopher Tufton
Health Minister Dr. Christopher Tufton is asserting that the contribution of foreign doctors to the health system far outweighs any challenges presented by a language barrier.
The Nurses Association of Jamaica (NAJ) this week expressed concern that health professionals employed from Cuba, India and Burma have been having challenges understanding Jamaican patients.
It said it feared the problem could lead to misdiagnosis.
However, Dr. Tufton told RJR News that Jamaica's engagement of Cubans, in particular, has worked for many years.
"Let us not forget that the contribution that the nearly 300 or so medical practitioners, primarily nurses, make in our public health system, is sufficiently significant that if they weren't here we would have many, many more challenges. So I don't think the language issue is such an issue that it should take away from the significance of the contribution that they have made whilst they're here," he asserted.
Dr. Tufton added that the foreigners, many of whom already speak some English, are usually given language training in Jamaica.