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Special Article
October 1, 2003

Surgery in Jamaica

Author Affiliations

From the Section of Surgery, Department of Surgery, Radiology, Anesthesia [[amp]] Intensive Care, The University of the West Indies (Drs Fletcher, McDonald, McCartney, and Carpenter) and Departments of Surgery, University Hospital of the West Indies (Drs Fletcher and McDonald), and Kingston Public Hospital (Dr McCartney), Kingston, Jamaica.

Arch Surg. 2003;138(10):1150-1153. doi:10.1001/archsurg.138.10.1150

Jamaica, at 4244 square miles (6830 km2) and with some 2.6 million inhabitants, is the largest and most populous country in the English-speaking Caribbean (Figure 1). The island is best known for its tourism industry, excellent rums, jerked pork, and, of course, reggae music.

Tertiary health care in Jamaica is provided largely by the government. There are 23 government (public) hospitals and 10 private hospitals. Some of the public hospitals have small private wings attached.

The government hospitals are classified as types A, B, C, and specialist. There are 3 type A hospitals: the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI) and Kingston Public Hospital (KPH), located in Kingston, and Cornwall Regional Hospital, which is in Montego Bay. These are multidisciplinary hospitals that provide services for all medical specialties. They are fully supported by laboratory and radiological departments and constitute the referral centers for the island.