Clinic and ambulance woes irk Negril residents
WESTERN BUREAU:The Negril Resort Board members say they are concerned about the large number of burglaries at the Negril Health Centre and the fact that the ambulance assigned to the Negril Fire Station's Emergency Medical Services has been out of service for several months.
The discussion took place at the monthly meeting of the resort board after retired intensive care nurse, Elaine Bradley, expressed her displeasure at the matter.
"Since May, the ambulance is out of service. This is the second ambulance that as a community we have managed to lobby and get, and this is the second time we have lost it in the same way. It is serious ... when you think that Negril and its surroundings are a tourist resort; we have a defective health clinic and we have no ambulance. Don't you think that it is a disgrace?" Bradley commented.
"I know it is a disgrace; I don't have to think," replied board Chairman Cliff Reynolds.
"We have a defective health clinic which is broken into every other week. Next to the police station and nobody is doing anything. It seems health doesn't matter," Bradley added.
no adequate coverage
For his part, operator of the Charela Inn Resort, Daniel Grizzle, recommended that a management team be put in place to see to the proper operation and use of the ambulance, which had fallen into disrepair after it was involved in an accident, subsequently leaving the town without adequate emergency coverage.
"The question of the ambulance and the clinic is something serious. We don't want another ambulance to be managed in the same way. I think we need to meet with the health authorities - whoever they are, to see how we can have a management team to manage the ambulance and not going back to where we were," Grizzle said.
"Because, if you have to get an ambulance every nine months or every one year, it hardly makes sense. And people get paid and you don't know whether they are at work or not. The ambulance driving all over the place; we don't know if it's carrying market people or carrying sick people," he added.
A public-health inspector from the Westmoreland Health Department, who was present at the meeting, sought to shed light on the status of the security measures being put in place for the Negril Health Centre.
"We know there has been a lot of break-ins at the health centre. The region has been addressing that issue. There is currently a security guard stationed there 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. and at nights and dogs on the compound two nights per week. They are currently installing electronic surveillance around the facility which will be monitored ...," he said.
But operator of the Lighthouse Inn, Dalton Hill, said the situation was not being handled property by the relevant authorities.
"Mr Chairman, why do we have to wait until they break in nine times before anything (is) done? I don't know why it is being broken into so many times - next door to the police station," he said.