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Medical Association says health ministry needs to be more proactive

Published:Friday | October 23, 2015 | 10:28 AM

The Medical Association of Jamaica (MAJ) is raising concerns about the country’s readiness and expertise to respond to critical issues following deadly outbreaks of infections at two of the country’s hospitals.

So far, there have been 40 cases which have resulted in 18 deaths.

Health Minister, Dr Fenton Ferguson, has indicated that overseas experts are being brought into the island to help battle the infections.

However, in a statement, President of the Medical Association of Jamaica, Dr Myrton Smith, says the association is concerned about the health ministry’s response to the outbreaks.

Smith says while there may have been a breakdown in the reporting protocols between the affected healthcare facilities and the Ministry of Health, the subsequent response of the Ministry raises questions.

He says the situation should be used by the ministry as a lesson to become more proactive.

The MAJ president says while he empathises with families that have lost babies, preterm infants are susceptible to infections.

Smith is calling for the government to give more financial support to the health sector to allow it to adequately respond to the needs of the public.