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JIS News

It cost the May Pen Hospital some $8.6 million in 2004 to treat cases, which resulted from acts of violence for the year 2004, Acting Chief Executive Officer of the hospital, Nadia Nunez-Howe has disclosed.
Mrs. Howe was speaking on the topic ‘Crime: It’s Impact on Health and Socio Economic Development in the Parish of Clarendon’ at a panel discussion at the Clarendon Parish Health Review for the year 2004. The event was held at the St. James Methodist Church Hall in May Pen recently.
“Some 1,190 assault cases were treated at the hospital where 642 patients were admitted and discharged from the hospital consequent to injuries received while another 548 patients were taken to the Accident and Emergency Department. These 1,190 cases includes the treatment of 58 gunshot wounds, 124 stab wounds, 340 cases of intentional lacerations and 128 cases of sexual assault/rape including two males ages 15-18 years,” she informed.
A total of 648 motor vehicle accident victims were taken to the Accident and Emergency last year, she added.
According to Mrs. Howe, in 2003 some 902 persons were treated for injuries resulting from assaults, which is 32 per cent less than the number of injuries related to assaults for 2004.
She also noted that it cost the hospital an average of $10,358 to treat one case of assault, adding that approximately $6.649 million had been spent to treat patients admitted for injuries while another $1.918 million was spent to treat patients who were not admitted.
She said that the cost of treatment used for assaults was an estimated 59 percent of the $14.4 million allocated for drugs and medical supplies in 2004.According to Mrs. Howe, this situation of having to spend more than half of the allocation of drugs and medical supplies to deal with injuries relating to assaults was consistent throughout the Southern Regional Health Authority where in 2002, some $137.28 million was allocated and more than $68 million was spent to treat assault related injuries.
“Healthcare is expensive, we need to control our anger, and we need to control ourselves. It is our money that we use to treat our victims of violence and accidents. We can’t continue like this. If we’re going to continue like this, then the cost of healthcare must be borne by every citizen. There is no free ride,” she told JIS News.
She also pointed out that violence and accidents had a cost and an effect beyond the immediate cost of treatment, which involves social work, and psychiatric work, and which usually involved a lasting impact upon the nation’s children.