Mon | May 16, 2022

Emergency mode... Junior doctors to meet with Tufton as COVID surges

Published:Sunday | January 16, 2022 | 12:55 PM
Fitz-Henley says the COVID-19 situation has resulted in an islandwide disruption in the ability of junior doctors to provide adequate patient care because of a staffing shortage.

Representatives of the Jamaica Medical Doctors' Association (JMDA) are to meet with Health and Wellness Minister Dr Christopher Tufton to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on junior doctors.

JMDA president Dr Mindi Fitz-Henley says a large number of junior doctors are in isolation or quarantine due to the high levels of exposure from caring for patients with the virus.

Jamaica is currently facing a fourth wave of COVID-19.

Fitz-Henley says the situation has resulted in an islandwide disruption in the ability of junior doctors to provide adequate patient care because of a staffing shortage.

She says that those who remain on the ground currently are getting sick and/or suffering from burnout.

“It is impractical for us to be expected to run clinics, wards, operating theatres, and all emergency units on a vastly reduced staff cohort,” she said.

Against that background, Fitz-Henley says the association wants to see health facilities commence operating in emergency mode.

“The JMDA will always prioritise the well-being of our junior doctors while ensuring that we efficiently carry out our duties in a safe work environment.”

She says the association requested an urgent meeting with Tufton to discuss the way forward, which has been granted.

Meanwhile, the JMDA president is appealing to Jamaicans to adhere to the COVID-19 prevention protocols.

“We are aware that people think that there is a 'bad flu' going around, but the assumption needs to be that this 'bad flu' is COVID-19 until proven otherwise. It is unconscionable to expose others unnecessarily, especially when you are unaware of their medical comorbidities.

“Too many Jamaicans have lost their lives. Each life lost was someone's mother, father, sibling or child. We implore persons to get vaccinated as it reduces the risk of serious illness and hospitalisation; thereby lessening the burden on the healthcare system,” she said.

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