03.01.04. Private long-term care sector | Jamaica

03.01.04. Private long-term care sector | Jamaica

27 Sep 2022

The Standards and Regulation Division of the Ministry of Health and Wellness has a mandate to ‘lead the process for quality improvement through standard setting and monitoring of the health sector (public and private).’ As part of this mandate, it is responsible for registration and monitoring of private long-term care homes or nursing homes in Jamaica. The publicly available list of registered nursing homes which received certification valid up until 2016-2017 listed 35 such registered homes across Jamaica. The number of nursing homes which received certification valid up until 2020-2021 declined to 14 registered homes with the majority being located in Kingston and St Andrew. No nursing homes were registered in 8 of the 14 parishes.

It is interesting to note that according to a representative at the 2019 Caregivers Seminar in Jamaica, it is estimated that there are over 200 nursing homes in existence, a stark contrast to the rate of registration. These homes are thus operating without monitoring and evaluation.

According to the Guidelines for Community and Private Health Facilities, all facilities should at minimum, provide the following services:

  1. Room, meals, and personal services to the residents of the facility, which are commensurate with the needs of the individual residents.
  2. Each home shall provide sufficient activities to promote the physical, mental, spiritual, and social well-being of each resident.
  3. Each home shall provide as a minimum books, newspapers and games for leisure time activities. Each home shall encourage and offer assistance to residents who wish to participate in recreational, cultural and religious activities available in the home and in the community.
  4. The route of the home shall be such that a resident may spend the majority of his or her waking hours out of the bedroom, if he or she chooses.
  5. At no time (other than when health and/or safety are jeopardised) may a home restrict a resident’s free access to the common areas of the home or lock the resident into or out of the resident’s bedroom.
  6. Adult Day Centres shall provide a place for an individual who may require this during the course of a particular day.

Additionally, care within the home may be supported by paid domestic workers, many of which are represented by the Jamaica Household Workers Association (JHWA), a non-government agency that represents the needs and interest of household workers and provides training. The organisation represents approximately 6,200 of an estimated 58,000 domestic workers. The training includes household management, education on sexual harassment, violence against women and mental health training. Despite working with older persons, the President of JHWA indicated that there is no training provided on dementia care and management, with many members having very little awareness of dementia.

The proportion of persons that utilise the private long-term care facilities is uncertain. However, based on the exorbitant cost (See Part 2) to access this service, it is clear that a significant portion of the population has little to no access.


Ministry of Health and Wellness (MOHW). (2019). Vision for Health 2030: Ten Year Strategic Plan 2019-2030. Available from: https://www.moh.gov.jm/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/MOHW-Vision-for-Health-2030-Final.pdf