In a statement this afternoon, Dr Phillips said an independent inquiry is necessary to remove any appearance, real or imagined, of a conflict of interest in ferreting out the truth about what precisely happened, leading to the death of Miss Fearon.
He said this should be separate and apart from the report being compiled by the Chairman of the South East Regional Health Authority (SERHA) for the Minister of Health and Wellness.
Dr Phillips said Miss Fearon’s death was not only a personal tragedy but had a deeper dimension as so many institutions mandated to provide health care to Jamaicans, failed to deliver the mandated healthcare she needed in those critical moments.
He said, for full confidence to be restored in the governance arrangements of the country’s public health system and institutions, only a comprehensive independent report would suffice.
The Opposition Leader said there is precedence for such an enquiry with the Bernard Commission of the mid-1990s which examined the case of the death of a pregnant woman at the Lionel Town Hospital in Clarendon. He said his firm support for this route was not an objection to SERHA’s work, but that will only satisfy the Ministry’s internal management.
Dr Phillips said the situation regarding Miss Fearon has caused national grief and raised questions which have implications beyond our borders and should, therefore, not be taken lightly, and as a result; he was expecting swift action by the Prime Minister.
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