‘It cannot continue like that!
SAVANNA-LA-MAR, Westmoreland — Mayor of Savanna-La-Mar Bertel Moore is asserting that the conditions of Savanna-la-Mar Hospital must improve if the facility is to respond adequately to the health needs of residents in the western parish.
“It cannot continue like that!” Moore told Thursday’s sitting of the Westmoreland Municipal Corporation meeting. “Tears come to my eyes after going to Sav [hospital]. I would see little boys, little girls, big men. women — all in a cluster sitting beside each other in there.”
Last Tuesday the hospital staff detailed how unbearable the working condition is, as they spoke of the overcrowding and the lack of bed space among other issues the hospital currently battles.
In an interview with the Jamaica Observer last week, the hospital’s Chief Executive Officer Camille Lewin disclosed that the facility is in a “real crisis”, spiralling from an increase in social cases which at the time reached 32, coupled with respiratory-related illnesses.
Lewin said the hospital had to create makeshift area for patients awaiting admittance. Beach chairs donated in the COVID-19 period are placed there to alleviate patients’ discomfort.
Further, Moore said after his visit matters heightened when he received a complaint from a family member living overseas whose mother was admitted at the hospital.
“What makes it worse — the same afternoon after I leave the hospital, I got a call from someone in Boston. The person’s sister was in the emergency and they were tidying the lady and she was left opened to the [scrutiny of the] public. There was not even a screen to put around the lady while they were tidying her,” he said..
Moore maintained that the situation needs urgent attention.
“This cannot continue. We need to do something at the hospital, like, now! It just cannot work like that. Doctor [in reference to the medical officer Dr Marcia Graham], I do hope from where you stand you can use your influence and let the minister and his team know that something needs to be done immediately,” he said.
In the meantime, Moore questioned the operation of the hospital, referencing the patient-to-nurse ratio he witnessed at the facility.
“When we look in that emergency section I think I count close to 90 patients in there, and if I see two nurses, I see a lot. How can we operate like that? It definitely cannot continue at the hospital in that manner,” the mayor chided.