Wed | Dec 13, 2017

Health minister orders review of hospital security

Published:Sunday | July 23, 2017 | 12:33 PM
The Kingston Public Hospital

Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton has ordered an immediate review of security arrangements at the country's healthcare facilities. 

The move comes amid recent reports of attacks and threats to healthcare workers at some facilities. 

Two Saturday's ago a medical intern at the Spanish Town Hospital in St Catherine was forced to make a hasty retreat to the doctors' living quarters on the compound, after she was attacked by a knife-wielding intruder.

A student midwife at the hospital also had to seek medical attention after she was hit on her hand by a man who threatened to harm medical personnel at the health facility.

The health minister has also requested, as part of the review, a meeting with the Police High Command to discuss measures to secure the nation's public health facilities, especially those operating in volatile areas.

The hospitals include the Kingston Public Hospital, Cornwall Regional Hospital, Savanna-la-Mar Hospital and the St Ann's Bay Hospital.

Tufton says he is deeply concerned about the upsurge in reports of attacks and threats to healthcare workers. He says the review is intended to examine internal security arrangements; the role of the police and the provision of counselling for affected healthcare workers.   

The health minister says medical personnel in public facilities should at all times be able to function and make decisions uninfluenced by external forces.

He is urging healthcare workers undergoing psychological trauma to seek counselling.

Tufton says he is deeply concerned about the upsurge in reports of attacks and threats to healthcare workers. He says the review is intended to examine internal security arrangements; the role of the police and the provision of counselling for affected healthcare workers.   

He says medical personnel in public facilities should at all times be able to function and make decisions uninfluenced by external forces.

He is urging healthcare workers undergoing psychological trauma to seek counselling.

The health minister says various counselling services are available and accessible through the outpatient department of general hospitals and in all Type three to five health centres across the country.