JIS News

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  • Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson, is appealing to persons, who experience poor treatment at public health institutions, to make a report to the Ministry.
  • The Minister made the appeal against the background of recent reports of ill-treatment of patients at the Victoria Jubilee Hospital in Kingston.
  • Dr. Ferguson informed that he has mandated the Acting Chairman of the South East Regional Health Authority (SERHA), Dr. Andrei Cooke, to lead the investigation into the incidents.

Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson, is appealing to persons, who experience poor treatment at public health institutions, to make a report to the Ministry so that proper investigations can be carried out and where necessary, sanctions applied.

The Minister made the appeal against the background of recent reports of ill-treatment of patients at the Victoria Jubilee Hospital in Kingston.

“I urge persons to report any dissatisfaction with the service they receive by way of our Clients Complaints Mechanism at the local facility, or directly to the Ministry’s Standards and Regulations Division. I assure you that your information will be treated with the strictest of confidentiality,” he assured.

He was speaking on Wednesday, August 13, at the handing over of intravenous fluids (IV) to the health sector by Food For the Poor (FFP), at the charity’s offices in Spanish Town, St. Catherine.

Dr. Ferguson informed that he has mandated the Acting Chairman of the South East Regional Health Authority (SERHA), Dr. Andrei Cooke, to lead the investigation into the incidents, and he should be receiving a report by mid-September.

He said the Ministry has placed “great emphasis” on customer service, and the “allegations can only be described as horrendous, when considering that these persons are vulnerable and at the complete mercy of the health staff.”

He argued that achievement of the country’s development goals will be difficult if citizens lack confidence in the public health system.

The Minister said the Victoria Jubilee Hospital delivers some 9,000 births each year, and it is unfair for the staff, who are providing quality services, to be tarnished because of the attitude of a few, hence the formal report by aggrieved persons will ensure sanctions and set the record straight.

“When you are doing 9,000 deliveries a year, and you have incidents with a minority, it impacts the institution, and gives an impression that everyone, who goes to Victoria Jubilee, will have a bad experience. Many times when patients run into problems, have bad experience with some of our best private hospitals, they end up at Victoria Jubilee, and a number of the persons who work in private practice are also our consultants in the public sector. Some of them are in charge in the public sector,” the Minister stated.