JIS News

All but one of the island's 25 public hospitals are now offering full services, following the passage of Hurricane Sandy last week, Director of Emergency Disaster Management and Special Services in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Marion Bullock Ducasse has said.

“Twenty-four of them are offering full services, except for the Annotto Bay Hospital (in St. Mary), which is offering emergency services and in-patient care only,” she said while addressing a Jamaica House press briefing on Wednesday (Oct. 31).

She informed that the hospital is not offering elective surgeries due to the damage sustained largely to the roof of the facility, during the Hurricane’s passage.

“The patients there who are scheduled for surgery, however, are being cared for at the St. Ann’s Bay Hospital and they are making their individual arrangements. So, in essence, all of our hospital patients are being cared for,” she said.

In terms of health centres, Dr. Bullock Ducasse, informed that only two remain closed. These are the Chepstowe and St. Margaret’s Bay health centres in Portland, which sustained damage.

"All of the others are open; and though some of them have damage, they are all offering services,” she informed.

She said electricity has been restored at all hospitals, while only the Annotto Bay, Port Maria, Port Antonio, and Princess Margaret hospitals are still receiving trucked water. “So the utility companies have completed their tasks for us very rapidly and we appreciate that,” she said.

As it relates to the number of persons, who sought treatment for injuries sustained during the system’s passage, Dr. Bullock Ducasse informed that up until October 30, “we have reports, now, from 16 hospitals that there were 237 persons who reported to those facilities for care for injuries resulting from the hurricane."

The Director noted that the majority of these persons – 75, were seen at the Annotto Bay Hospital; 47 at the Port Antonio Hospital; and 45 at the Princess Margaret Hospital.

“All of these patients were cared for adequately. Only three of them required hospitalisation and they are about to be discharged soon – by the end of this week,” she informed.