Kingston, Jamaica, September 21, 2022 - Shadow Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Morais Guy, has called on Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton to immediately address the situation affecting the Operating Theatre at the Annotto Bay Hospital.
In a statement today, Dr Guy said the use of the theatre at the hospital has been restricted for more than four months due to condensation in the air conditioning system, which produces a steady leak in the area.
Dr Guy said this situation is unhealthy and unsafe for those working in those spaces because there is a real danger that someone could fall from the slippery condition. “We do not want any such thing to happen to any member of our hard-working medical team or those on a temporary visit,” Dr Guy stated.
Pointing to the Government’s new thrust on the Public-Private Partnership model, Dr. Guy said that while it remains a creative option for both sectors, the Government should use the policy to “pick off the low-hanging fruit” in all our health facilities as we seek to expand the network of caregiving facilities.
In this regard, he has again urged the Health Minister to focus on the areas not serviced by well-to-do private facilities, like Annotto Bay and other facilities serving low-income communities where services have fallen below the required standards.
The Opposition Spokesman said that while he believes the public-private partnership (PPP) offers an excellent feasible option for development and collaboration, it should not be presented as a panacea to the neglect of other areas. “We should not be investing public funds in private institutions at the exclusion of investment in public facilities,” Dr Guy said. “There must be a balance”, he emphasised.
Dr. Guy said the situation at Annotto Bay Hospital has persisted for four months forcing the hospital to curtail the use of the space to morning hours before the condensation begins and preventing the scheduling of all elective surgeries. He said the situation has also affected the training of junior doctors, which could delay their specialist training.
Dr Guy said that despite the free-up of spaces due to a reduction in COVID-19 cases, the hospital could not optimise the situation because of the faulty system.
Dr Guy said he wants the Health Minister to prioritise the hospital situation at Annotto Bay and other like facilities because these maintenance issues breed anxiety and additional burden on personnel and ordinary citizens.