Health services prepared
The 10 hospitals and 89 health centres governed by the South East Regional Health Authority (SERHA) should be able to deal with any adverse situation that may arise from the impact of Tropical Storm Sandy on the island.
Speaking with the Jamaica Observer yesterday hours after a hurricane warning was issued for the island, SERHA Chairman Tanny Shirley said all facilities would remain open but "will be concentrating on emergencies".
"All arrangements are in place to ensure the safety of staff and patients and the continuation of our services," he said. "We have, from Monday, started putting in place all the contingency plans and we feel we are pretty much safe in what we have done to ensure this."
Shirley said facilities have been scrutinised and fitted with the necessary items.
"We have looked at our water supply, standby generators to ensure all those are up and running and in adequate supply, food supply for the hospitals for patients who are there, adequate staffing to ensure that persons who are there are able to stay there in case the situation should arise that they can be released from their duties," Shirley said. He added that "medical supplies are in place for the hospitals for patients who are there and for any emergencies".
In the meantime, the North East Regional Health Authority, which comprises the parishes of St Ann, St Mary, and Portland, and has a delivery network formed by 73 health centres, four general hospitals and two community hospitals, yesterday advised that extended clinic hours at the Ocho Rios and St Ann's Bay health centres have been suspended until further notice, due to the impending passage of Tropical Storm Sandy.