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WATCH: Doctors unmask bleeding health system, withdraw from task force

Published:Friday | May 1, 2015 | 6:02 PM
Dawes... Brought pictures to show that the absence of standard medical masks has left the doctors with no option but to use those issued as part of the Ebola response.

Doctors have painted a startling picture of the unsanitary conditions under which health services are being delivered in Jamaica, with claims they are being given plastic bags instead of surgical aprons to use during operations.

At a press conference today, they demanded that the Health Minister, Dr. Fenton Ferguson, take strong measures against Permanent Secretary Dr Kevin Harvey.   

According to the President of the Jamaica Medical Doctors’ Association (JMDA), Dr. Alfred Dawes, said operating theatres are teeming with fungus.

Listing some of the deficiencies that have marred health care at public facilities, Dawes charged that infection control was sorely lacking.

 

President of the JMDA, Dr. Alfred Dawes

Dawes also brought pictures to show that the absence of standard medical masks has left the doctors with no option but to use those issued as part of the Ebola response.

He further claimed that the doors to operating theatres are constantly left open, allowing foreign matter.

At the same time, he said many of the theatre lights are malfunctioning.

Dawes is demanding that the Health Minister, Dr. Fenton Ferguson, take action against Permanent Secretary Dr Kevin Harvey.   

He says the organisation has pulled out of all talks including Task Force activities as it waits for Dr. Ferguson to initiate a probe into Dr. Harvey’s conduct.

 

President of the JMDA, Dr. Alfred Dawes

In the meantime, the doctors are threatening to strike as they demand that the government scrap its proposal to introduce flexi-work arrangements in the health sector.

The new work arrangements are expected to come into effect on July 1.

While Dawes suggested that the salaries of doctors would be slashed by up to 60 per cent, after five consecutive years of wage freeze, he said the issue was not about a pay cut.

He said the seeming notion of employing more doctors and doing patch work on the ailing health public health system would not solve the problems of the system.