Professor Winston Davidson has died

PUBLIC health specialist Professor Winston Davidson, who served as parliamentary secretary in the Ministry of Health in the late 1970s, has died after a short illness.

Dr Davidson, who was an adviser to former Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, passed on Sunday at University Hospital of the West Indies in St Andrew.

Dr Davidson was a telemedicine research pioneer, who served as professor of public health and health technology and head of the University of Technology, Jamaica School of Public Health and Health Technology. He was also an architect of the 2011 “Jeep” document, the source for the 2011 manifesto of the People’s National Party.

He was a founding member of the Jamaica Public Health Doctors Association and the Jamaica Menopause Society and a former president of the Medical Association of Jamaica. In addition, he was the CEO of Doctors on Call, a universally telemedicine platform.

The late doctor has received a number of honours and awards in recognition of his work.

Among them are Commander of the Order of Distinction for services to medicine in 2003 and the Pearl Award for more than 30 years of distinguished and outstanding service to the people of Jamaica as justice of the peace in the parish of St Andrew in 2008.

Dr Davidson received his medical training at The University of the West Indies during the period 1965 to 1971 and was successful in the American Examination for Foreign Medical Graduates in 1971. He received his Diploma in Tropical Medicine & Hygiene (DTM&H) from Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, University of Liverpool, England, in 1975.

Reacting to the news of Dr Davidson’s passing, Minister of Health and Wellness Dr Christopher Tufton expressed “his deep regret” at his death.

Dr Tufton, in a statement on Sunday, described him as “an advocate for public health, a scholar, and one who provided leadership in various areas of health, including his passion for telemedicine”.

The minister thanked Dr Davidson for his support and advice during the COVID-19 pandemic and expressed condolence on behalf of the ministry and the health sector to his widow, daughters, other family members, and associates.

Dr Davidson, a Kingston College old boy, was a member of the school’s all-conquering football team which won Manning Cup and Olivier Shield titles in 1964 and 1965, remaining unbeaten in both seasons and is generally regarded as the best-ever schoolboy football team.

Dr Davidson is survived by his widow Dr Sonia Davidson, nee Lambie, and three daughters — Dr Tamu Davidson, Dr Chima Davidson, and Donna Davidson.