“I was particularly impressed by what I saw during the tour of the facility. I am convinced this represents the kind of partnership that will help our plans to expand our public health system,” Tufton said. Tufton signs agreement A statement issued by the Ministry of Health last week stated Health Minister Dr. Christopher Tufton signed the agreement that covers areas including cardiology, nephrology, neurosciences and oncology. UHB Foundation Trust is one of the highest performing NHS organizations in Europe. It has a proven international reputation for quality care, information technology, clinical education, and training and research. The Jamaican government is currently taking steps to transform St Joseph’s Hospital in St Andrew to a 24-bed center of excellence general hospital. This would enable that hospital to handle certain specialist services, such as oncology. Under the MOU, the Ministry of Health and UHB will explore joint activity and enter into collaborative arrangements which will further the development of centers of excellence. In addition, each activity carried out within the framework of the MOU will be subject to the mutual written consent of the ministry and UHB.The Ministry of Health said the MOU is non-binding. Details of the execution will be separately negotiated and mutually agreed by both parties through discussion and signing of a separate legally binding contract. “The agreement also provides for technical cooperation in nursing and bio-medical engineering,” the statement said. It noted the MOU is part of Jamaica’s thrust to expand public health facilities and the range of specialist services offered. Transform St. Joseph’s hospital Collaborative arrangements “There has been significant investment in a linear accelerator, which deals with cancer treatment,” according to the statement. Jamaica has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with University Hospitals Birmingham National Health Service Trust (UHB) in Britain to help develop centers of excellence at health facilities in Jamaica. UHB is a regional center for cancer. It has the second largest renal dialysis program in the UK and the largest solid organ transplantation program in Europe. It also provides a series of highly specialist cardiac and liver services. It’s also a major specialist center for burns and plastic surgery.
“It can turn quickly, but a lot of it is out of our control,” Kupchak said. “I’d love to be able to put together a young team that can win 55 games next year, but it’s not that easy.”That uncertainty recently prompted Magic Johnson to criticize vice president of player personnel Jim Buss, including not giving Kupchak enough autonomy to run the Lakers’ basketball operations. “I have the same authority I had with Dr. Buss,” Kupchak said, referring to the Lakers’ former owner that passed away in February 2013. “Jerry West had the same authority as Dr. Buss. I have that same authority with Jimmy. Jimmy and I work very closely together. He does not make decisions in a vacuum.”Kupchak then explained why he found the criticism unfair.“Any decision that has or has not happened in the last two or three years that people have a problem with, I was involved or leading the way,” Kupchak said. “If there’s criticism, then it should be directed at me as well.”The Lakers have taken plenty of criticism for various moves. Following Phil Jackson’s retirement in 2011, the Lakers hired Mike Brown to coach instead of keeping assistant Brian Shaw. After firing Brown five games into the 2012-13 season, the Lakers chose Mike D’Antoni despite having a sitdown interview with Jackson, who won five of his 11 NBA championships here. After LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Pau Gasol rejected the Lakers’ interest last summer, they settled on mostly role players on one-year deals to secure financial flexibility for future offseasons. Yet, Kupchak downplayed the need to talk with Johnson about his criticism.“We have a really good relationship,” Kupchak said of Johnson, who remains an unpaid vice president with the Lakers. “He wants nothing more than this franchise to be on top.”Yet, it remains up for debate how long that process will take. The Lakers want to win as many NBA championships as possible. So does Kobe Bryant.But Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak revealed on Friday he will place higher priority this offseason on protecting the team’s financial flexibility and youth than ensuring Bryant a roster equipped to win an NBA championship for the 2015-16 season. Then, Bryant will return following a season-ending right shoulder injury in what could conclude a storied 20-year NBA career.“We have to start a new run, and that’s definitely going to include Kobe next year,” Kupchak said. “But to jeopardize the next five or seven years and bring in old veterans that make a lot of money, just to win one more year, because that’s Kobe’s last year or could be his last year, I’m not sure that fits into doing it the right way.”Bryant recently described the Lakers’ front office to GQ Magazine as “hell-bent about having a championship-caliber team next season, as am I.” Yet, Lakers coach Byron Scott believes Bryant will understand the Lakers’ long-term needs even if it comes at the expense of his sixth NBA title. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error “He was so much more patient than what everybody was saying,” Scott said of coaching Bryant. “That says a lot about him and the respect for the organization and his willingness to get us back on the right track. He knows it’s going take a year or two.”Scott also repeated Bryant could play after his $25 million contract expires following next season, presuming he stays healthy and the Lakers upgrade their roster. “He has to get back where he feels he can perform at a high level,” Kupchak said of Bryant, whom the Lakers said will return in nine months. “To really look beyond that, from our point of view, is not realistic.”The Lakers have enough cap space this summer to sign one max-level free agent, but they could face challenges plucking Marc Gasol from Memphis, LaMarcus Aldridge from Portland, Kevin Love from Cleveland or Goran Dragic from Miami. Yet, the Lakers can avoid sending their first-round pick to Phoenix as part of the Steve Nash trade if it lands in the top five. The Lakers will have a mid first-round pick from Houston stemmed from the Jeremy Lin trade. The Lakers also have rookies Julius Randle and Jordan Clarkson to develop.Scott believed the Lakers could field a championship-caliber roster next season, conceding he hopes the rebuilding involves a “sprint.” But Scott then added he’s a “realist” and predicted “it will takes us a few years”