Bustamante Hospital appeals to parents barred from using overnight facilities
Sherine Williams, Gleaner Writer
The administration of the Bustamante Hospital for Children is appealing to parents who have been barred from using the overnight facilities at the institution to report it to hospital officials.
The appeal follows a four month-long investigation by The Gleaner which revealed that parents who have to stay overnight with their sick children are being forced to bathe outdoors on the hospital compound because the authorities are denying them access to shower facilities.
According to hospital CEO Anthony Wood, the overnight facility which includes bathrooms and bedrooms, is supposed to be open for parents to use.
At Bustamante, parents are allowed indefinite stay to help nurses and doctors administer care to their children.
However, with no access to shower facilities, many parents, especially those who are not from Kingston, say they go for days without a bath.
Others, who can’t withstand this unhygienic practice, confessed to breaking ‘hospital rules’ in order to freshen up.
Parents who spoke to The Gleaner asked that their identities be withheld, but agreed to speak on record.
The parents said they were to make their bathing quarters at locations where they were standing pipes or large tanks of water for hospital use.
Then they had to wait for the cover of nightfall to provide their privacy and protect their pride.
Others who refuse to bathe outside confessed that they brushed their teeth and freshened up in a public restroom located at the hospital’s Casualty Department.
However, this has also been deemed to be against hospital policy.
Many of the parents with whom The Gleaner spoke said they were told by nurses and other hospital staff that in the past, an area was provided for parents to rest and shower.
However, that facility was reportedly shut down because it was being misused by parents.