KINGSTON — Jamaica's government says that about 500 Cuban health workers will work on the island for the next two years to bolster understaffed clinics and hospitals.

Health Minister Fenton Ferguson said that 117 doctors and nurses are expected to arrive in February.

He said medical technologists, physiotherapists and clinical dietitians also will be assigned to healthcare institutions across the island.

Jamaica has been struggling with an increase in patients after offering free health care to adults and children starting in 2008.