Media report 'selective journalism'
Tyrone Thompson, Staff Reporter
MINISTER OF Health Dr Fenton Ferguson has called images shown in a recent media report on the Bellevue hospital a case of 'selective journalism'.
The minister led journalists on a tour of the facility yesterday, in response to a televised report, which claimed patients at the hospital were being held in dehumanising conditions.
Ferguson argued that the footage shown in the report could not have been recently acquired and were, in fact, a throwback to a report done by The Sunday Gleaner in 2012, as since that report, the facility has seen major transformation.
"The media have an agenda and we have our agenda, so we want to show you what has happened since that first investigative report into the hospital, which was done in the first couple of months when I became minister," said Ferguson.
Stressing that the ministry did not wish to allow the issue to percolate over the weekend, Ferguson said that it was important for the press to see the condition of the facility immediately after the damning report had been aired.
"As you can see, the short notice at which we put this tour together as we did not want to give the impression that we were going to take this weekend to put things in place, so now, you can see it as it is," he said.
Media personnel were shown the patient's living facilities as well as the food-preparation areas at the hospital as both these areas came under considerable criticism in the televised report.
Ferguson told journalists that the facility had not only been improved but the equipment used in food preparation was of a world-class standard.
Administrative dietician at the hospital Marieta May Rhoden reiterated that point, arguing that there were several inaccuracies in the televised report. "We serve meals in disposable containers and so, where it was said that patients were being served porridge in cups and plastic bottles, that is not true, because we specifically serve porridge in eight-ounce containers, of which we have an abundance in stock," Rhoden explained.
She added that individualised meal packages were dispensed for each patient, according to their relative diet.