Thu | Jan 17, 2019

Don't blame docs for Gov't chik-V failure

Published:Friday | September 26, 2014 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir: Public statements on the chikungunya epidemic from the Minister of Health, Dr Fenton Ferguson, are growing more appalling by the day. The minister, in his continued attempts to cover up his monumental failings on the current chikungunya epidemic, has sought to shift the blame to doctors, saying we are responsible for the low and misleading numbers he keeps reporting to the public.

Doctors deserve no such blame, and the Medical Doctors Association and the Medical Association of Jamaica must break its silence on the general state of disrepair afflicting the health sector. The minister, through the relevant international agencies, via his own admission, got two years' advance notice about the threat of chikungunya to Jamaica.

In those two years, the minister did nothing, and now we have a viral outbreak, which appears to have started in the parish for which he is a member of Parliament, now spreading at an alarmingly rapid rate. Most of the affected do not have, or want to spend, $10,000 on a test that takes weeks to deliver a result. Instead, as recommended by doctors, they take the standard treatment.

I cannot help but wonder how an Ebola outbreak would have been handled, especially given the fact that the current management of the chikungunya epidemic is an MBA case study into asinine denial, arrogance, bureaucratic bungling, poor information sharing, lack of planning, and failed leadership.

Put a stop to this blame game.


Stony Hill, Kingston 9