Health Sector is in Chaos – Baugh

Release Date: 
Friday, December 5, 2014 - 15:30

Opposition Spokesman on Health, Dr. Kenneth Baugh is expressing serious concerns about the gross mismanagement of the Health portfolio, leading to several incidents that threaten to cripple the sector. His concerns come on the heels of recent reports of attacks on health care workers such as a Patient Care Assistant being beaten at the Bustamante Children's Hospital on Sunday, a nurse being strangled by a patient at the Kingston Public Hospital last Tuesday morning, and similar attacks at the Mandeville regional hospital.

Dr. Baugh called on the Health Minister to urgently take hold of the sector and to re-establish order, care and security for both workers and patients who are suffering.

The former Minister of Health said “The frequency of these very unfortunate attacks is extremely troubling, and is a symptom of chronic mismanagement. There is also a clear connection between attacks on nurses and the frustration that both nurses and patients are experiencing in a sector that is under-resourced and poorly managed.” He says “Not only are patients deprived of care in a reasonable time, but healthcare workers are overburdened, starved of resources and worse, their security is being treated with scant regard. This is a recipe for disaster.”

He added, “The Jamaica Labour Party conveys deepest sympathies to the Health workers who have been victims of such attacks and we are in solidarity with all healthcare workers as they endure very difficult conditions on the job across the island.”

He continued, “While we do not claim perfection, it is clear that since the People’s National Party assumed office, there has been no end to reports of discord, dissatisfaction and disaster. In May 2013, health care workers were restive as a result of missing deductions from their salary; by October 2014, the staff at the KPH &Victoria Jubilee hospitals were protesting as a result of not having the required tools for their jobs; also in October, Jason Forbes died on the floor of the Spanish Town hospital while waiting, and the very next day, 14 year old St. Jago student Azee Baker died from Chik V complications at the same hospital, where, according to Observer reports, pleas for help by the boy's father, Abraham Baker, were ignored until the boy collapsed - and these are just a few out of many experiences.”

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