The Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) has been activated to respond to and monitor the effects of outbreaks of violence on the health sector, as well as to coordinate the Ministry of Health’s intervention, based on instructions from Portfolio Minister, Hon. Rudyard Spencer.
Minister of Health, the Hon Rudyard Spencer
The EOC will also maintain the Ministry’s operations, as well as secure the safety and welfare of patients and staff. The decision was made during a meeting on Monday
(May 24) with officials of the Ministry and the South East Regional Health Authority (SERHA).
“It is important that we address the welfare of patients and staff as best as possible, while ensuring the continuing function of our major health facilities. “We have, therefore, put a number of measures in place, in an effort to continue to provide health care to the people of Jamaica in this difficult environment,” Mr. Spencer said.
As part of measures to be immediately implemented:the Kingston Public, Victoria Jubilee and Spanish Town Hospitals as well as the Bustamante Hospital for Children will only be offering emergency services; elective surgeries have been suspended; all outpatient clinics have been suspended until further notice; seven health centres in the Kingston and St. Andrew region remain open at this time. They are Harbour View, Glen Vincent, Gordon Town, Bull Bay, Mavis Bank, Dallahs and Windward Road Health Centres.
Meanwhile, the National Blood Transfusion Service (Blood Bank) is appealing to members of the public to donate blood. Individuals can visit other blood collection centres across the island, including the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI), National Chest, May Pen, Mandeville, Cornwall Regional, Savanna-la-Mar, Falmouth, St. Ann’s Bay and Port Antonio hospitals. They are, however, advised to avoid the central blood bank on Slipe Pen Road, Kingston, as no collection of blood will be done at that facility due to the current unrest in the area.