“Government's Mishandling of Health Sector Now a National Disgrace” - Malahoo Forte
Opposition Spokesperson on Health and Healthy Lifestyle, Senator Malahoo Forte commenting on recent media reports revealing more details of current state of the health sector, declared the government’s management of the sector as a national disgrace. She said the Opposition is calling on the Simpson Miller Administration to prioritize the necessary funds to deal with the shortages in the island’s hospitals and health centers, and to deal with the poor leadership and mismanagement of the Public Health Sector.
Senator Malahoo Forte noted that for some time the Opposition had been calling for urgent action on the part of the government. She said “Despite our calls on behalf of the people, the Ministry of Health has proceeded in a ‘business-as-usual’ mode. The President of the Jamaica Medical Doctors Association, Dr Alfred Dawes, has now publicized the shortage of supplies and unsanitary environment in the hospitals, confirming what we had been hearing for some time.”
According to Malahoo Forte, “The contemptible exercise of leadership by Minister of Health Dr Fenton Ferguson reflects the ethos of the PNP, where public concerns are viewed as ‘nine-day-wonders’ and storms that you ride out, because they will pass. That is why he and the Government have sat back and done nothing meaningful to address the problems in the health sector.”
The Spokesperson charged that the so-called restructuring and ‘cost-cutting’ programmes embarked upon by the Government have caused more stress among the health workforce and resulted in little or no improvement. She added that the Ministry of Health lacks direction and leadership.
She said that information obtained by the Opposition also reveals that the Government has populated the Health Sector Boards with PNP Activists, who make decisions primarily and almost exclusively in the interest of their party. Their presence on these Boards is all about the PNP ‘taking care of its people’; an approach that puts party interests ahead of national interests.”
In closing, Malahoo Forte asked “How can the Government continue to put so many lives at risk? Can they see nothing beyond passing IMF Tests? As important as the tests are, is a healthy population not a developmental priority?” She added “Our people surely deserve better.”