- The Ministry of Health and Wellness will be complying, in full, with the team from the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) and will be providing all documents related to the death of Jodian Fearon.
- The JCF has launched an official criminal investigation into the matter.
- Ms. Fearon died at the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI) hours after delivering her first child at the Spanish Town Hospital.
The Ministry of Health and Wellness will be complying, in full, with the team from the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) and will be providing all documents related to the death of Jodian Fearon.
The JCF has launched an official criminal investigation into the matter.
Ms. Fearon died at the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI) hours after delivering her first child at the Spanish Town Hospital.
She was initially scheduled to undergo a Caesarean section at the Andrews Memorial Hospital in Kingston. It is reported that she showed signs similar to those of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and was not admitted.
Portfolio Minister, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, updated the House of Representatives today (April 28).
“Based on our administrative review, to date, on the sequence of activities surrounding this case and the reports received, it is to be noted that our initial assessment is that both the Victoria Jubilee Hospital and the Spanish Town Hospital… adhered to the established procedures at it relates to the transfer of patients from private facilities,” he said.
Dr. Tufton said the protocols are to ensure the safety of all parties and to provide for the best outcome for the patient and staff.
He said the Ministry of Health and Wellness has put in place at hospitals all across the island an increased capacity to manage suspected cases of COVID-19.
Dr. Tufton noted, however, that each hospital has a limit on how many patients it can accommodate, adding that when one hospital is full, there are protocols in place that allow for transfers.
“Over 500 suspected and confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been managed in hospitals across the island since the first suspected case was admitted at the St Ann’s Bay Hospital in February 2020. There are presently 114 cases in hospitals as at Sunday, April 26, 2020,” he said.
Dr. Tufton said these persons have been transferred between different hospitals based on the availability of spaces, severity of illness and resources.
He said the process is managed and coordinated at the Health Regions and Ministry of Health and Wellness’ National Emergency Operations Centre and has seen the cooperation between health regions and parishes.
“It is my considered view that with the support of the private and public health sectors, as well as our regional and international partners, we have been and will continue to work to improve the resources in all our hospitals. As such and as the need arises, we will again look at the protocols to determine areas where there can be improvements to the extent where those improvements can be made,” he said.
Dr. Tufton said the Ministry awaits the outcome of the criminal investigation and the recommendation of the Director of Public Prosecutions on this matter to determine whether charges are to be made.
“The team at the Ministry of Health and Wellness, as well as all of us as Jamaicans, are saddened at the passing of Jodian Fearon, who was transferred from the Andrew’s Memorial Hospital to the Spanish Town Hospital and then the University Hospital of the West Indies. On behalf of my colleagues within the Ministry, the Government and indeed my colleagues in this Parliament as well as the entire country, I wish to extend our sympathies to the family of young Jodian at this time,” he said.
Leader of Opposition Business, Dr. Morais Guy, also expressed condolences to the family of Ms. Fearon.