Fri | Oct 19, 2018

Opposition questions why KPH employees sent on leave over neonates investigation

Published:Thursday | June 7, 2018 | 12:00 AMJason Cross/Gleaner Writer
Campbell

The South East Regional Health Authority (SEHRA) has been advertising in the media, seeking replacements for three employees of the Kingston Public Hospital (KPH) who were sent on leave recently.

But Opposition Spokesperson on Health Dayton Campbell has taken issue with the move.

The three were sent on leave after they were accused of negligence following preliminary investigations into the discovery of the bodies of two dead neonates among stray dogs behind the KPH. The neonates were believed to have been removed illegally from the KPH morgue and improperly disposed of.

Chairman of SEHRA Phillip Armstrong has insisted that the employees have not been fired, but Campbell has disagreed with the workers being sent on leave before completion of the investigations.

INAPPROPRIATE DECISION

"The very release put out (recently) is that the investigation is not complete. I don't know why they took a decision like that in the middle of an investigation. It is highly inappropriate for them to come to a decision, halfway in," Campbell told The Gleaner in a recent interview.

"We don't know if they are trying to use somebody as a scapegoat. Until now, the public has not been made aware of exactly what these persons are guilty of. It sounds logical to me that (security) should have been in place before all of this.

"I don't believe that natural justice has taken place or if these individuals are culpable. Certainly, if they are culpable, there has to be some level of accountability, but we must exercise some fairness in allowing each side of the story to be heard," Campbell argued.

He reiterated the call by the Opposition People's National Party for an independent body to take control of the probe.

"The fundamental disagreement starts out with the fact that SEHRA directors are presiding over a matter over which their board has original responsibility. The Opposition is calling for an independent investigation. The whole process is compromised when you use persons from SEHRA to investigate," Campbell charged.

jason.cross@gleanerjm.com