Sun | Oct 25, 2020

Kari Douglas apologises for Bustamante Hospital stand-off

Published:Tuesday | November 12, 2019 | 11:48 AM
Councillor for the Trafalgar Division in South East St Andrew, Kari Douglas - File photo

Councillor for the Trafalgar Division in South East St Andrew, Kari Douglas, has addressed concerns about her stand-off with a medical doctor at the Bustamante Hospital for Children which triggered a shutdown of the Accident and Emergency (A&E) unit for two hours.

Douglas took her eight-month-old son to the hospital because he was reportedly roasting with fever but was told, after triage, that his case was not deemed an emergency.

This reportedly led to a confrontation.

READ: PNP councillor, doctor clash

It is further reported that while the doctor was assessing another child Douglas barged into the room and closed the door.

It is said that when the doctor attempted to exit, Douglas blocked her path and fired a volley of expletives in protest.

In a statement today, Douglas said she recognises that as a public official she has a responsibility to show decorum and great restraint.

According to her, she had initially exercised patience but was provoked by what she said was the insensitivity and a lack of compassion that she encountered. 

Douglas has apologised for her conduct inside the room, but according to the Councillor, the physical engagement which occurred during the incident was not initiated by her. 

Meanwhile, she is taking issue with today’s announcement by the People’s National Party that it is probing the ordeal with a view to determine an appropriate course of action.

The party today issued a statement indicating that it cannot condone any reported verbal abuse or alleged attack on hospital staff, saying it is greatly concerned about Douglas' conduct.

READ: PNP probing Bustamante Hospital stand-off involving Kari Douglas

“The statement from the PNP is curious given that there are way more serious incidents involving party members which the party has not probed or chosen to issue a statement regarding,” said Douglas.

Full Statement 

Councillor for the Trafalgar Division in South East St. Andrew, Kari Douglas, has taken note of the commentary concerning an incident at the Bustamante Children’s Hospital which occurred while she was seeking treatment for her child who had a high fever and was seriously ill.

Due to a number of factors which require urgent attention, altercations within the public health system are not infrequent and often go unnoticed. However, Councillor Douglas recognises that as a public official her responsibility to show decorum and exercise great restraint is that much more.

Councillor Douglas had initially exercised patience but was provoked by insensitivity and a lack of compassion. However, despite the aforementioned, Councillor Douglas wishes to unreservedly apologise for the aspect of her conduct where she entered the room where the medical practitioner was and stood in front of the door for a period of approximately a minute while demanding answers about the deteriorating condition of her child.

Councillor Douglas also wishes to place on record that the physical engagement which occurred during the incident was not initiated by her. In relation to that aspect of the incident, Councillor Douglas is observing how the situation unfolds and reserves the right to press charges, if necessary.

Douglas wishes to thank all her well-wishers who have reached out and is calling for urgent action to be taken to reduce waiting time and improve professionalism and service delivery in the health sector.

Councillor Douglas finds curious that the PNP has issued a statement today which indicated that it will be investigating the incident concerning her to determine a course of action. The statement from the PNP is curious given that there are way more serious incidents involving party members that the party has not probed or chosen to issue a statement regarding.

However, Councillor Douglas is not surprised by the statement from the PNP leadership, especially given that some senior members of what was the One PNP campaign team actively agitated for publication of the initial story about the incident which contained several falsehoods.

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