JIS News

Minister of Health, Horace Dalley has said that he intends to lead the charge to reduce the bureaucracy surrounding the procurement process for hospital equipment and supplies.
“Emergencies in the health sector must be treated as emergencies. You can’t go to tender when people are in need. What Ministers have to do with their team is to work the bureaucracy to ensure that we get things done speedily,” he stressed.
The Minister was speaking today (October 3), at a press conference held at the Ministry’s King Street offices to, among other things, address the issues that have surfaced in the media about operations at the Victoria Jubilee Hospital (VJH), and the death of a newborn at the institution last weekend.
He emphasized, however, that after a tour of the hospital yesterday (October 2) with Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller and other government officials, he was not convinced that there was a crisis at the VJH.
“I would like to place on record the tremendous work of the staff, the matron and her team, and the Senior Medical Officer (SMO) and his team, to deal with the day-to-day problems that they face,” he said.
Mr. Dalley further informed that the South East Regional Health Authority was already in the process of procuring elevators valued at $77 million for the VJH and five autoclaves. He noted that the order for the autoclaves had in fact been placed prior to last week-end’s incident.
Meanwhile, Senior Medical Officer at the VJH, Dr. Douglas McDonald, said the cause of the death of the baby has not been established, as a post mortem has not yet been conducted.
“We in the public health sector are very saddened when we lose any of our patients. I extend on behalf of the Ministry of Health and the health workers of the Victoria Jubilee Hospital, our sympathies to the parents and especially the mother. We will do everything to provide support to the family,” Mr. Dalley said.
He noted that the Ministry had ordered a probe, the findings of which he could not pre-empt, but assured that it would be expedited, as directed by the Prime Minister.

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