By Dana Malcolm
#TurksandCaicos, May 1, 2023 – Both private and public money will be poured into the new Destination, Marketing and Management Organization to fund it as it carries out its mandate to diversify the TCI’s tourism product. This is according to Premier Washington Misick as he detailed the financial model of the organization in an April 24 press conference and it also means a new tax on visitors to the islands.
“TCI Government contribution to the DMO based on the current budget allocation is four percent, and by 2027 it will move from $3.4 million to $5 million,” the Premier explained in a media event on Monday April 24.
An even larger income source is from private sector partners; that money is to be derived, according to the premier, due to a new tax of $10 per visitor and other contributions from tourism stakeholders who have Institutional membership in the DMO.
Guests will pay the one-time fee at the point of arrival into the country, Missick said, noting it was the levy model that stands to make the country the most money by charging all stayover tourists regardless of length of stay.
“Based on the amount of passengers by 2027, we will generate 8.7 million dollars,” he explained.
DMO Institutional members, like the Turks and Caicos Tourism and Hotel Association will pay a percentage fee that decreases as the amount of visitors increases and is set to reach $250,000 by 2027.
All of this money from the private sector will flow into a Tourism Enhancement Fund that will be used to increase the destinations appeal, directly upgrading infrastructure and more.
The final source of income is listed as revenue from the DMMO/DMO activities.
As a non-profit, none of the revenue from the DMO can be shared among members. Josephine Connolly, Minister of Tourism, had told Magnetic Media: “How the funds allocated to the DMO are spent will be based on recommendations from the Board and presented to the Minister in formal detail. The DMO will follow the TCI Public Management Funds Ordinance, which all entities receiving public funds must follow. The DMO must produce an Annual Report about the objectives achieved, any deviation from the objectives, and how the financial resources have been used,” she said.
Total income for the organisation is set to reach $16 million by 2027; operating costs pegged at $3 million.
Despite the massive projected windfall from the private sector, the premier defended the Government’s four percent contribution, maintaining that tourism was ‘everybody’s business,’ and it was through investment that growth would occur.
“The Government can’t divorce itself from supporting the industry” he said.
In the long term, the Destination Marketing and Management Organization, amidst controversy, skepticism and pushback from the Opposition PDM, is touted to boost the country’s revenue by over half a billion dollars; money that the country would never see with the current TCI Tourist Board.
The operationalization of the DMMO will bring the tenure of the TCI Tourist Board to an end; a redundancy which is met with some resistance.
Premier Washington Misick took to a slide show in his press event a week ago, presenting to the live audiences never before seen details on the new institution which had its bylaws signed on April 14.
“The increase in wealth will be equal to almost $640 million,” he said.
This massive jump is projected to push the country’s total tourism revenue to $1.7 billion by 2032. This would be more than triple the $506 million that the country was making from its number one industry in 2010-2011 according to Misick’s numbers
But without the DMMO Misick shared the most, the TCI is projected to get out of tourism over the next decade is barely over $1 billion slow crawl of an increase leveling off to a plateau rather than the sharp rise the Government wants.
He maintained this would stimulate the job market and the overall economy resulting in a better quality of life for residents.
The press event was held at the Shore Club.
Medical Council of Jamaica Announces more CME hours for Doctors
KINGSTON, September 19, 2023 (JIS) – Medical doctors will be required to complete two additional hours of Continuing Medical Education (CME) specifically dedicated to mental health and wellness in order to renew their practising certificates come January 2024.
The Medical Council of Jamaica (MCJ) noted that this critical update forms part of its commitment to advancing the healthcare system and ensuring doctors are well-equipped to meet the prevailing mental health demands.
“This increase moves the total required CME hours from 20 to 22, enhancing doctors’ ability to address the mental health implications of the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. The decision to introduce these additional CME hours is driven by the Medical Council of Jamaica’s commitment to prioritise the well-being of both patients and healthcare professionals,” the MCJ stated.
The Council reasoned that COVID-19 has highlighted the pressing need for mental health support, with healthcare workers facing unprecedented challenges, experiencing increased stress and witnessing the emotional toll the pandemic has taken on patients.
To support doctors in meeting the new CME requirement, MCJ Registrar, Professor Howard Spencer, shared that the Council will provide access to a range of accredited providers and resources offering relevant mental health and wellness courses.
“The Medical Council of Jamaica encourages all doctors to proactively engage in these additional CME hours well in advance of the renewal deadline in early 2024, to ensure a seamless continuation of their practice,” he emphasised.
The Council added that the focus on mental health and wellness will empower doctors with the knowledge and skills to provide comprehensive and compassionate care to patients experiencing challenges in this area.
Commenting on the new requirement, Consultant Psychiatrist and Public Health Specialist, Dr. Earl Wright, underscored that the additional CME hours are a win-win for doctors.
“It’s not only enhancing the doctors’ care of the patient but doctors need to take care of themselves also. This will help to prevent doctor burnout. Doctors are sometimes under severe stress for long periods of time. So enhancing the doctors’ ability to take care of themselves, they’re also enhancing their ability to take care of all their patients,” he remarked.
For more information about the new CME requirement, visit www.jamaicamedicalcouncil.org.
Prime Minister Holness opens Maypen to Williamsfield Leg of Southern Coastal Highway
#Kingston, September 19, 2023 – The May Pen to Williamsfield leg of the Southern Coastal Highway Improvement Project (SCHIP) was officially opened by Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, on Thursday (September 14).
The thoroughfare, which represents part A of the SCHIP, now significantly reduced travel time between the parishes of Clarendon and Manchester and will offer a multitude of economic and social benefits to users.
Speaking during the segment’s opening ceremony, Prime Minister Holness hailed the development as “a step in improving the general quality of life for all Jamaicans”.
“[It is] a step in improving the productivity of all Jamaicans. You can easily measure the productivity gained of this road by the productivity lost in traffic, discomfort and the aggression it creates in driving on some of the other bad roads,” he said.
Mr. Holness noted that some of the anticipated benefits of the new roadway include connecting workers to jobs, improving the response time of the security forces, and improving and lowering the cost for delivering agricultural outputs to market.
“In so many ways, building your infrastructure improves well-being,” he emphasised.
The Prime Minister also announced that the highway’s usage will be at no cost to motorists until the end of the calendar year, on December 31, 2023. After this period, toll rates will be applied.
Mr. Holness further pointed out that the scope of work for the highway included a new four-lane bridge across the Rio Minho to increase the area’s resilience to weather events.
The project also features a two-year defects liability phase, the Prime Minister said, while noting that, “during this phase, the contractor will have to fix any project-related defects”.
It was implemented by the National Road Operating and Constructing Company Limited (NROCC), under the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation.
For his part, NROCC Managing Director, Stephen Edwards, described the highway’s opening as “a momentous occasion in infrastructure development in Jamaica”.
Dubbing the project as a “giant leap forward for the parishes of Clarendon and Manchester and for all Jamaicans”, Mr. Edwards informed that the contract’s implementation commenced in 2019.
He detailed that the development features a 23-kilometre four-lane highway with adiamond interchange and Florida-T at May Pen, a separated interchange at Toll Gate, an interchange at Melrose, four bridges, 17 concrete box crossings, upgrading of approximately five kilometres of roadway along the Melrose Bypass to a four-lane dual carriageway, a police post at Toll Gate, safety fences, concrete median barriers, and the installation and expansion of fibre optics.
“We believe… we have delivered a modern highway that the people of Jamaica can be proud of,” Mr. Edwards added.
Minister of Science, Energy, Telecommunications and Transport, Hon. Daryl Vaz, in his remarks, said the highway’s opening is “a pivotal junction in our nation’s transportation history”.
“This remarkable highway will undoubtedly reshape this side of the island and its network and elevate collective journeys towards progress. This occasion is also a testament to the dedication in providing safer roads and enhanced connectivity for all Jamaicans,” Mr. Vaz stated.
Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Everald Warmington, also spoke highly of the road development.
He expressed that the new leg of the country’s highway network represents “more than just concrete, steel and asphalt”.
“It signifies development, connectivity, and the promise of a brighter future for all those who traverse the south coast of this country,” Mr. Warmington said.
He added that a well-planned, efficient transportation network is the backbone of any thriving nation, as it connects people, fosters economic growth and enhances the quality of life for citizens.
Multi Pronged Approach in St. Ann to Tackle Dengue
Montego Bay September 19 (JIS) – The St. Ann Health Department has adopted a multipronged approach in the fight against dengue fever as the parish reports an increase in suspected cases of the mosquito-borne disease.
Addressing the monthly meeting of the St Ann Municipal Corporation on September 14, Medical Officer of Health for St. Ann, Dr. Tamika Henry, said although the country is not currently in outbreak mode, the parish is on high alert due to the endemic nature of dengue in Jamaica.
She explained that the multipronged strategy includes surveillance, case management, health education, human resource reinforcement, larvicidal and adulticidal activities, source reduction, external stakeholder engagement, and continuous monitoring and evaluation.
Active and passive surveillance methods are being employed to detect suspected cases early. This involves healthcare personnel actively searching for symptoms at hospitals and health centres, ensuring prompt intervention when necessary.
“We have a nurse that is stationed at the hospital; she’s our hospital active surveillance nurse. She goes from ward to ward, as well as in the outpatient department, accident and emergency, looking to see if there’s anybody who matches the case definition for dengue because, of course, we want to pick up things very early,” Dr. Henry said.
She noted that the health department has bolstered its human resources, employing 26 permanent vector control workers across its five health districts.
To manage the situation effectively, high-risk communities have been identified and targeted for intervention by workers, including larvicidal activities aimed at mosquito breeding sites.
Dr. Henry outlined that health education and promotion efforts are widespread, involving various public health nurses, public health inspectors and community health aides.
“We have public health nurses going out. Public health inspectors are in their zonal areas on a day-to-day basis; they, too, do health education. We have our Community Health Aides, who have been doing house-to-house visits, reminding persons about searching and destroying,” she said.
Dr. Henry noted that the Ministry of Education and Youth is also engaged, with dengue lesson plans being implemented in schools.
“One of our age groups of concern is five to 14. So, we engage with them [Ministry] and they have again rolled out their dengue lesson plan in the schools, and the children are doing their search-and-destroy activity during their activity session,” she added.
Since the start of 2023, St. Ann has received 17 notifications of suspected dengue cases. One case has been confirmed that involves a 13-year-old male who presented with fever, headache, eye pain, and nausea.
Dr. Henry disclosed that nearly half of these cases, approximately 48 per cent, match the case definition for dengue, a significant increase compared to 2022.
In 2022, the parish had 10 reported cases with only one being confirmed as dengue fever.
“More males are being reported than females in 2023, and we recognise that there are two particular age groups of concern – 5 to 14 age group, that is our primary school going up to our high school, as well as our 24 to 44 age group,” Dr. Henry shared.
FIND US ON FACEBOOK
News1 week ago
Grand Turk Mother put in Prison; charged with possession of bullet
News1 week ago
TCI Records First Quarter of Negative Growth Throne Speech reveals
Bahamas News1 week ago
PM Davis: Botswana State Visit is ‘the growth of a deeply rooted friendship’
Bahamas News1 week ago
Plane crash landed in The Bahamas, no injuries reported
Bahamas News5 days ago
Royal Caribbean to open adults only private island destination
Bahamas News1 week ago
Botswana and The Bahamas ink MOU
Bahamas News5 days ago
OFFICERS ATTEND NATIONAL DAY OF BRAZIL CELEBRATION
News1 week ago
TCI Boat Club Donates $17,000 to Kidney Foundation