JIS News

Minister of Health, Rudyard Spencer, says he will be reviewing security provisions for hospitals, as he is not satisfied with the level of security at some of the health facilities across the island.
“I am disturbed that our patients and our staff members in some of these institutions are exposed to the things that they are exposed to but yet the Ministry carries a very heavy security bill,” Mr. Spencer said. “You have my assurance that we are reviewing it. No more security contracts will be entered into until there are exhaustive discussions and agreement as to what is required and who is best able to give the kind of service that we need,” he stated. The Minister was addressing a ceremony today (Jan. 18) at the Bustamante Hospital for Children, to hand over four Toyota Coaster buses, valued at approximately $14.8 million, to four hospitals across the island. The vehicles, which were funded by the National Health Fund (NHF), will be used to transport nurses, especially those working on night shifts. Institutions benefitting are the Bustamante Hospital for Children, Mandeville Regional Hospital, Bellevue Hospital and Victoria Jubilee Hospital. Chief Executive Officer of the NHF, Rae Barrett, noted that the discomfort and fears associated with accessing transportation on the late shift for nurses, is a concern especially for hospital staff and the Nurses Association of Jamaica (NAJ).
“Therefore, supporting a Ministry of Health project to ease the transportation burden at nights was easy to approve,” Mr. Barrett said. President of the NAJ, Edith Allwood Anderson, said she welcomed the provision. “Our nurses, in the nights, they are faced with the same kind of violence or even worse with which our society is faced. Nurses are their uniform,” she lamented, adding that, “we are very, very thankful for the buses”.

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