PNP probing Bustamante Hospital stand-off involving Kari Douglas
The People’s National Party says reports of the two-hour shutdown of the Bustamante Hospital for Children on account of a stand-off between PNP Councillor Kari Douglas and a member of the medical team are of great concern.
The Gleaner understands that 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.
Things spiralled out of control, which led to the entire A&E section being closed for more than two hours before dawn Sunday.
The party says while it understands the distress Douglas facing the illness of her child in an environment of the dengue crisis, it cannot condone any reported verbal abuse or alleged attack on hospital staff.
PNP chairman Fitz Jackson says all parents have a duty to ensure the best available care for their children, but no one has the right to abuse anyone.
He says medical personnel across the island are under undue stress and have to work for long hours in less than ideal conditions and must be treated with respect at all times.
Jackson says the dengue crisis, shortage of bed space, the unavailability of medicine and medical supplies, the shortage of nurses, doctors and other medical and ancillary staff are real factors that add to the tensions in the sector.
He says these must be addressed urgently as part of making public hospitals efficient and user-friendly.
The PNP is conducting its own inquiry into the incident with a view to determine an appropriate course of action.