Thu | May 23, 2019

WRHA ensuring security of hospitals, says Greene

Published:Friday | June 8, 2018 | 12:00 AMChristopher Thomas/Gleaner Writer
Errol Greene


In response to recent security concerns at hospitals in western Jamaica, Errol Greene, the regional director of the Western Regional Health Authority (WRHA), said his administration is prioritising the safety of patients and staff at the region's medical facilities.

Over recent months, staff members at the Savanna-la-Mar Public Hospital in Westmoreland have been threatened and abused by relatives of patients who were brought to the facility for medical treatment. Earlier this year, friends of an accident victim attacked the Falmouth Hospital in Trelawny with stones.

Speaking with The Gleaner yesterday, Greene said the WRHA is taking the necessary steps to ensure the safety of the staff, patients and facilities, to include regular reviews of security arrangements at the hospitals.

"We are constantly reviewing our security arrangements, and we do take the necessary steps to ensure that our employees, patients, other persons doing business with us, and our properties are secured," said Greene. "All hospitals have a static security presence."

Speaking specifically to security at the Savanna-la-Mar Hospital, the WRHA boss noted that the facility's security detail has been increased following a recent spate of shootings in the area.

"Savanna-la-Mar Hospital is totally outsourced, having private security," said Greene. "When there was an escalation of shootings in Savanna-la-Mar recently, additional security was brought in to bolster the team that is on location."




He added, "All our other hospitals have a mix of individual hospital clinic security and private security. We also work with the local police and ensure that we maintain a good working relationship with them."

In the incident at the Falmouth Hospital, which occurred in February, irate friends of an accident victim who died while receiving treatment damaged a glass door at the accident and emergency ward, resulting in injuries to three members of staff.

Over recent years, hospital staff in western Jamaica have be exposed to physical harm on numerous occasions as even feuding gangsters have taken their wayward ways to these institutions.