Dissatisfaction among health care workers has escalated since the suspected case of the virus surfaced at the Annotto Bay Hospital yesterday. “We have been told that at the minimum the protective gears are inadequate.
We have been told that the recommended protective masks rated at N95 are not available and that there are no eyes shields as well as hazmat suits in the local hospitals to protect our front-line responders as well as the rest of the staff.” Shadow Minister of Health Dr Morais Guy said.
The nation must be concerned about the veracity of the assurances given by the Minister of Health and Wellness that the Ministry and the Government have prepared the hospitals and facilities to deal with the potential outbreak.
“We cannot as a country expect our workers to be out on the front line for us, yet we do not provide them with the necessary equipment to protect themselves.” Dr Guy said.
The Minister had indicated that all public hospitals have appropriate isolation areas, but the experience at the case cited by the Ministry in the Saturday, February 1, 2020 news release about the Annotto Bay Hospital, contradicts the pronouncement as the patient had to be transferred to another facility.
“We are concerned that there seems to be no central coordination of the response.
Having been advised by the Minister that the central facility at the National Chest Hospital is up and running as per his tour last Thursday, we would expect that there is a concentration of resources there to treat suspected cases and patients would be transferred there instead of putting further strain on the already less resourced and less prepared local hospitals,” the Shadow Minister said.
He said the state of affairs is further compounded by the fact that training has not been given to the local hospitals to be able to deal with this new emerging virus.
“We therefore call upon the Minister to equip these facilities instead of just paying lip service. We also call upon him to do this as a matter of urgency so it can stem the tide of discontent among the workers in an already burdened health care system.” Dr Guy said.
- Countries: Jamaica