Jamaica’s Health Minister Orders Review of Security at Public Hospitals

first_imgHealth Minister Dr. Christopher Tufton says an audit of security protocols at some public hospitals will be carried out by the Jamaican government.According to Tufton, the audit, to be conducted shortly, will be done at several institutions located in areas where there are incidents of gang related violence.Reassure health workers “At the health care level, we have to do more to reassure our workers and to ensure you feel safe in carrying out your duties,” he told health workers at a recent event in the western parish of St. James.Tufton said while there are ongoing discussions at the policy level to resolve this issue, the audit is one of the initial measures being undertaken to ensure the safety of health workers in these facilities.“The reality is some locations are riskier than others. We have to assess what we already have in place and what we need to put in place to enhance the sense of personal security of the individuals who work in these institutions. We have to also ensure the security of the infrastructure that’s so critical to the citizens of the community,” he said.Over J$100m spent on hospital securityThe Health Minister said the government now spends over J$100 million annually on contracting private security for public health facilities and the audit will seek to provide a tailored ‘needs assessment’ for these public facilities.The hospitals include the Kingston Public Hospital, the Cornwall Regional Hospital, Savanna-la-Mar Hospital and St Ann’s Bay Hospital. The minister is urging healthcare workers undergoing psychological trauma to seek counseling. He said medical personnel in public facilities should at all times be able to function and make decisions uninfluenced by external forces.Between January and April of this year, the Health Ministry says hospitals treated close to 5,000 trauma cases. These included over 500 stab wounds, close to 280 gunshot wounds and 3,944 injuries due to road crashes.last_img

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