Shadow Minister of Health Dr Morais Guy said that serious attention is not being given to the progress of the rehabilitation works. He said even though the Ministry claims that medical services are available, the dislocation and discomfort of the staff and patients remain troubling, especially in the midst of the unrelenting dengue epidemic across the island and the new cases of hand, foot and mouth disease in the western region.
“The complaints from doctors, especially surgeons, who are now stressed by the travel between the Falmouth Hospital and CRH for surgeries, are worrying as the possibility of burnout may soon materialize, further compromising the already fragile health care system.” Dr Guy lamented.
Dr. Guy noted the numerous missed deadlines since the hospital closed for major repairs, and questioned the new shift which will now see a further extension from December 2019 to the end of 2020, dashing the hopes of the people in Western Jamaica for improved medical services in the New Year.
“This is unacceptable and the assurance given by the Ministry that the new facility will be better is cold comfort to the people who have had to endure hardships, cramped conditions and extended waiting hours to be seen at the facility during the ongoing health crisis.” Dr Guy said.
“The major reason given for the delay is the onerous government procurement guidelines, but this is nonsensical. This is almost laughable as those in the system are fully aware of the procurement guidelines as well as the requirements and the planning necessary to mitigate this ‘onerous’ process”, the Shadow Minister said.
He said further delay means greater costs which have already moved from $3.5 b to $4.0 b. This, he said, could have been prevented by proactive measures which could have saved tax payers of another $500M, which could be spent in other areas of the depressed health sector.
“All areas of the service delivery are being conducted in unsatisfactory conditions. In the Outpatient areas where admitted persons are being housed, the conditions are less than desirable, beds are close to the doors, and the general conditions are below acceptable health standards. The clinics are scattered around the city of Montego Bay and this is stressful to the staff,” he outlined
Dr. Guy said the Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. Christopher Tufton cannot absolve himself of this debacle by trying to hide behind the press briefing of Oversight Committee.
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