Minister of Health, Hon. Rudyard Spencer has instructed the management of the Southeast Regional Health Authority (SERHA) to take immediate steps to put in place recent decisions made to improve security at the Spanish Town Hospital. The Minister was addressing a meeting on Monday, March 11, 2011 at the Ministry’s head office involving the management of SERHA, directors of the Ministry and representatives of the company which is contracted to provide security to the facility.
This comes against the background of the recent invasion of the hospital by gunmen. “We have to deal with this issue as a team and in collaboration with the Ministry of National Security and the police. Our health workers cannot continue to be forced to function under these circumstances in which they fear for themselves while trying to save patients’ lives. Our patients need to feel secure when they come in to us for treatment,” Minister Spencer said.
The Minister gave instructions for the immediate construction of a perimeter fence among other measures. He has also issued instructions that adequate lighting be immediately put in place for areas which need it and special security arrangements be made for the Accident and Emergency section of the hospital. In addition, Minister Spencer has asked the Region to present the other security plans in writing with a costing and timeline for implementation.
“We cannot divulge all the specific plans we have to improve security at the Spanish Town Hospital but we have been taking the matter very seriously and will continue to work with all our stakeholders to better the situation,” the Minister said.
Issued by: The Ministry of Health