KINGSTON, Jamaica – Opposition Spokesperson on Health and Wellness, Dr. Morais Guy, MP, is calling on the Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. Christopher Tufton, MP, to urgently address the unhealthy and dehumanising conditions at many of the island’s hospitals, especially the Cornwall Regional Hospital (CRH) where admitted patients are now lying on floors and chairs to access hospital care.
In a statement this morning, the Opposition Spokesperson said the situation has been deteriorating over the past few months, despite his call during his Sectoral Presentation in May for the Minister to visit hospital wards to see firsthand patient facilities and the poor condition of some wards. He says he is receiving more reports of patients sleeping on floors and using out-of-service toilets and bathrooms.
Dr. Guy said the Minister has a high propensity to flood his social media platforms with photographs and text with glowing reports about the Ministry’s operations, yet consistently ignores the plight of patients in many hospitals. “Recently, he glowingly reported on the commendable progress in the construction of the Adolescent Hospital on the same property as CRH while ignoring poor patient care in that hospital”, Dr. Guy said.
The Opposition Spokesperson stated that the conditions could not be blamed on the Regional Health Authorities as the Minister is head of the public health care system and ought to be more closely monitoring health care delivery. He said in May, he told Dr. Tufton of the problems being experienced by most of the population in accessing hospital care, yet he has failed to take any action to improve the situation for the users, who are mainly
Among the issues pointed out at that time, he said, was overcrowding and shortages of beds and mattresses, as a review by his Ministry had shown an average of 300-500 shortfall of beds for clients waiting in Emergency Rooms across Jamaica.
Dr. Guy calls the present conditions unacceptable and said the Minister should cease the public relations stance, visit hospital wards and ensure that the citizens of Jamaica are treated with the dignity and respect they deserve in the public health care system.