JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Acting Chief Medical Officer (CMO) in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Marion Bullock-DuCasse has issued a reminder to members of the public that it is not acceptable for the medical condition of individuals to be discussed publicly by medical practitioners or the Ministry of Health.
  • Speaking at a JIS Think Tank on February 24, Dr. DuCasse said she has noticed a worrying trend and in this regard persons need be aware that some of the demands that are made of the Ministry regarding individual cases cannot be met.
  • She added that medical records must be kept and held in the highest and utmost confidentiality at all times.

Acting Chief Medical Officer (CMO) in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Marion Bullock-DuCasse has issued a reminder to members of the public that it is not acceptable for the medical condition of individuals to be discussed publicly by medical practitioners or the Ministry of Health. Speaking at a JIS Think Tank on February 24, Dr. DuCasse said she has noticed a worrying trend and in this regard persons need be aware that some of the demands that are made of the Ministry regarding individual cases cannot be met.

“We are not able to comment on any individual’s personal signs and symptoms, complications or even death, so we remind persons that while we have to share information we cannot breach confidentiality,” she said.

She added that medical records must be kept and held in the highest and utmost confidentiality at all times.

“Certainly I would want to urge everyone to pause and consider, because it is not ethical. Nobody wants to know that after visiting your health team member that your personal medical information is discussed within the health centre or in the public and we therefore do not comment on any individual’s medical records or anything about their medical condition” she stated.

Meanwhile the Acting CMO has issued a reminder that the Ministry of Health is the authority on all matters of health in the country. “A number of persons will have opinions and that is fine but in terms of the authority in speaking about a disease condition, the current situation and what to believe, we ask the public to continue to listen to the Ministry of Health because many of the stories that have circulated are unfounded rumours and they help to cause confusion” she advised. Dr. DuCasse noted that the Ministry is always willing to arm the Jamaican population with the knowledge that they need to have.

“Our reporting is only as good as the notifications that come in to us. We report on what we have and we continue to say that we recognize that there are more cases in the population than reported. The majority of persons stay home, self diagnose, self medicate and never present (go) to a doctor. Many who do, their cases are not reported to the ministry by the doctors so the ministry cannot have that information to include in our reports” she highlighted.