Vaz questions transportation method for incubators
Member of Parliament (MP) for West Portland, Daryl Vaz, is raising concerns at what he says is another troubling development in the health sector.
Vaz said a truck was seen in Liguanea, St Andrew, last Friday heading in the direction of the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI) with three incubators fully exposed to the elements.
"It begs the question whether this is normal mode of transportation for these life-saving machines, which is a glaring breach of international best practices," said Vaz, as he provided a picture of the vehicle.
According to Vaz, his concern is further triggered by the failure of Health Minister Dr Fenton Ferguson to address numerous complaints by health-care workers who have indicated that the requisite medical supplies to keep equipment and the wards sterile are either not available or have to be recycled.
"Obviously, there have been no lessons learnt and, therefore, no real compassion or genuine remorse on the part of the health minister or the Government at the death of the 19 babies at the UHWI and Cornwall Regional Hospital due to infectious bacteria, or greater care and preventive measures would now be taken in the wake of this shameful and unnecessary loss of lives," said Vaz.
CALL FOR SANCTIONS
The opposition MP said the babies' deaths should have led to sanctions, including the firing or resignation of the minister as he has to be made accountable for the series of missteps and mishaps in the health sector.
"It is full time that the prime minister act decisively in directing Minister Ferguson to bring before Parliament the contents of the health audit he requested so that the elected representatives of the people and the nation itself can be apprised of the challenges facing the health sector."
Vaz added that although he is an elected political representative, his outrage is not politically motivated, but as a father of three children who were born in Jamaica. He added that with his son having to go to the UHWI neonatal unit at birth due to complications, he can empathise with the trauma being experiences by the bereaved parents and families.
The MP said he is confident in the expertise and knowledge of doctors and medical staff at the hospitals and charged that the root problems lie in the unsanitary conditions, lack of resources and equipment at these institutions.
Efforts to contact officials of the UHWI were unsuccessful yesterday.