The Ministry of Health is the national authority charged with oversight of the entire health system in Trinidad and Tobago. It plays a central role in the protection of the population’s health and in ensuring that all organisations and institutions that produce health goods and services conform to standards of safety.
The Ministry of Health is a people-centred, caring, proactive institution that assures standards of excellence are achieved by all stakeholders that promote, protect and improve the health status of the people of Trinidad and Tobago.
Our mission is to provide effective leadership for the health sector by focusing on evidence-based policy making; planning; monitoring; evaluation; collaboration and regulation. The Ministry of Health establishes national priorities for health and ensures an enabling environment for the delivery of a broad range of high quality, people-centred services from a mix of public and private providers.
Our Core Values
The critical values required to ensure accomplishment and fulfilment of our Vision and Mission are:
- Professionalism - We will ensure the most efficient and effective delivery of health services by trained and competent health personnel.
- Total Quality - Commitment to excellence in our health care systems and all services.
- Client-centeredness - We emphasize the delivery of health services that are responsive to consumer needs and preferences.
- Evidence-based - Relying upon research and information-driven decision-making at all levels.
- Visionary - Providing proactive leadership to the sector.
How We Work
Responsibility for the provision of health care services in Trinidad and Tobago was devolved from the Ministry of Health to Regional Health Authorities (RHAs) with the passing of the Regional Health Authorities Act No. 5 in 1994. RHAs are autonomous bodies that own and operate health facilities in their respective Regions. There are currently five (5) RHAs which deliver public health care services to the population which include the: Easter Regional Health Authority (ERHA) North Central Regional Health Authority (NCRHA) North West Regional Health Authority (NWRHA) South West Regional Health Authority (SWRHA) Tobago Regional Health Authority (TRHA) The Tobago Regional Health Authority (TRHA) falls under the purview of the Tobago House Assembly. While the Ministry of Health does not directly run health facilities, it is required to play a key role in ensuring that they are properly run, by setting policies, goals and targets for regions based on assessment of real health needs.
Improving Health Care Management
The Ministry of Health is firmly dedicated to continuously improving public health by increasing our resources to meet health care needs through:
- Significant improvements in the management and delivery of Emergency Services.
- Adoption of a comprehensive and strategic approach towards the development of human resources for the health sector.
- Ensuring that there is synergy and accountability through the institutional strengthening of the Regional Health Authorities and our Vertical Services.
Meeting the Tertiary Care Needs of Society’s Vulnerable
The Ministry of Health stands committed to meet the tertiary care needs of our society’s most vulnerable. Some of the ways through which we are achieving this objective are:
- The Children’s Life Fund: This special fund is designed to provide finance for life-saving surgeries for our nation’s precious children and was launched in 2010.
- External Patient Programme: This programme, which was launched in 2014, funds essential surgeries at private health facilities.
Supporting patients’ rights and services through health quality standards, policies and legislation
The Ministry of Health fully endorses and subscribes to the World Health Organization's (WHO) Charter of Patients’ Rights and Obligations. Each Regional Health Authority oversees and runs a Quality/Customer Service Unit which aims as addressing the needs and concerns of the population. Additionally, our senior citizens are assured of the respect they deserve and thus, are given preferred treatment at all public health institutions and pharmacies.
Improvement of the physical infrastructure of public health care facilities.
The physical infrastructures of all public health facilities are consistently reviewed and upgraded, where necessary to ensure that they are fully capable facilitating first class health care for citizens.
Reducing the prevalence of communicable diseases, including HIV/AIDS
The Ministry of Health has continued to push and promote free, confidential HIV testing throughout Trinidad and Tobago in public spaces and through our public health facilities.
Addressing Chronic Diseases and Mental Health
The promotion of primary health care is the Ministry’s main strategy to deal with the scourge of chronic disease in Trinidad and Tobago. We have been placing particular emphasis on wellness and health promotion to promote healthier lifestyles and self-empowerment among citizens.
The Human Resource (HR) Factor
The Health Sector in Trinidad and Tobago has been experiencing shortages and challenges with the supply of medical and allied professionals. The Ministry of Health has adopted a comprehensive and strategic approach towards the development of human resources for the health sector, which involves attracting foreign based nationals who may be considering returning home.