02.01.02. The private health sector | Jamaica

02.01.02. The private health sector | Jamaica

27 Sep 2022

PAHO (2017) also notes that there is a large private health sector in Jamaica with primary and secondary care facilities and diagnostic services, such as radiology. In 2015, there were 10 private hospitals with approximately 200 beds. Referrals between the public and private sector facilities remain a feature of service delivery, particularly for diagnostic and therapeutic care.

As in many other developing nations, higher income persons are more likely to access and utilise private healthcare services, while lower income health care users tend to use the cheaper, public health option via primary health centres or relevant programme, with persons moving between sectors based on the severity of their health status.

For example, research using data from the Jamaica Survey of Living Conditions over a fifteen-year period (1993-2007) showed that wealthier Jamaicans with higher incomes utilised 62.2% more private health facilities than poorer Jamaicans. However, the study also estimated that during this time, private health care demand declined from 54.0% in 1989 to 51.9% in 2007, due to economic downturn experienced in the decade before (Bourne et. al., 2010).


Bourne, P., Denise, E.-S., Paul, T. J., LaGrenade, J., & Charles, C. A. (2010). Public and private health care utilization differences between socioeconomic strata in Jamaica. Patient Related Outcome Measures, 81. https://doi.org/10.2147/prom.s11868

PAHO. (2017). Salud en las Américas+, Edición del 2017. Resumen: panorama regional y perfiles de país. Available from: https://iris.paho.org/handle/10665.2/34322