PM Holness 'very disturbed' by incidents in healthcare system

PM Holness 'very disturbed' by incidents in healthcare system

Prime Minister Andrew Holness has ordered a probe into recent incidents in the island’s public health system, which, he says, has left him "very disturbed".

While he did not specify the incidents, media reports since last week have centred around the Opposition Spokesperson on Health and Wellness, Dr Alfred Dawes' call for a report on 105 ventilators, which, he said, were provided through the efforts of the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ), the European Union, and other partners.

Health and Wellness Minister, Dr Christopher Tufton has maintained that all the ventilators are accounted for, and this was confirmed in a statement from his ministry on Monday.

It said all ventilators that were donated to the Government of Jamaica as part of the country’s COVID-19 response are accounted for and are at healthcare facilities islandwide.

The issue surrounding ventilators emerged following the death of a newborn at May Pen Hospital in Clarendon on June 11, as doctors and nurses at the facility reportedly had to resort to manually ventilating the child due to the alleged unavailability of machines there.

In his address at the 10th Biennial Diaspora Conference in Montego Bay, St James, on Tuesday, Holness said, while his Administration is embarking on a massive transformation of the infrastructure of the healthcare system to increase capacity and "improve the ability of healthcare workers to deliver care", issues which have arisen in recent days have left him disturbed.