Jamaica Has Lost Confidence In The Minister of Health, PM Must Act Now ! - Holness

The government is failing the people's test and the country is missing the leadership needed to guide Jamaica through these difficult times. The performance of the Prime Minister is being found seriously wanting as on several occasions she has failed to provide the leadership necessary to guide the country in the right direction.

The Prime Minister is missing on the matter of this devastating Chikungunya virus. First the Minister denied that there was problem, refused to act, and sought to label anyone who raised concerns as alarmist and politicizing the problem. Thousands of Jamaicans are now ill all at once and the rate of spread seems beyond the capacity of the public health system, the education system and the average household to respond effectively. Yet the Prime Minister has neither spoken nor acted.

The government seems to have no real concern about the rate of spread and the impact it is having on productivity and possible impact on Tourism. There is no plan to contain the mosquito vector and control/slow its spread from the east and centre of the Island to south, west and north of the Island where the infection appears ‎to be moving. There is no special allocation for vector control for fogging, cleaning of drains and gullies, collection of garbage and the use of larvacides in standing water. Their communication to the public has been slow and ineffective and the Minister seems to believe that his only responsibility is  to pass the responsibility for vector control to households. With all of this Prime Minister is missing -  providing no clear leadership.

We call on the Prime Minister to do her job and act to ensure that the health service and the public health system are in good hands as there are other more serious health threats on the horizon. It is frightening to think what would be the response of the government if, God forbid, Ebola were to reach our shores.

In the public interest the Prime Minister should make a special emergency allocation of resources for control of the mosquito vector and an Island cleaning of drains and gullies and clearing of garbage.

We have no confidence in the current Minister of Health to manage his portfolio. Based on the potential threat of other more virulent diseases such as Ebola, the Minister should be replaced and a serious and objective assessment of the state of readiness of the public health services be immediately undertaken to assure the public that Jamaica will be prepared and resourced to deal with this and other public health threats.