Portland group blames unresponsive hospital for woman’s deathFriday, May 01, 2015
PORTLAND, Jamaica – The Free Winnifred Beach Benevolent Society, a group in Portland, is blaming the lack of response from the Port Antonio Hospital for the death of a visitor to the Winnifred Beach on April 29.
"At approximately 4:35 pm, a group of visitors were enjoying themselves on the beach. One of the visitors, a lady, entered the shallow part of the water after which she started to vomit," a statement issued by the group late yesterday said.
"She collapsed into the water, her friends and vendors on the beach rescued her from out of the water; the lady complained of feeling sick and as a result the lifeguard on duty called the Port Antonio Hospital urgently requesting an ambulance to transport her to the hospital."
However, after reaching a representative at the hospital, it is alleged that they were told that the hospital could not assist because no driver was available for the ambulance.
The statement said that in the interim, a doctor tried to assist the woman and the police were called. The group said the police got to the location "almost immediately".
"After an hour and five minutes, 5:40 pm, the ambulance did not reach the Winnifred Beach as yet," the statement said.
Attempts were then reportedly made to transport her to the hospital with a private motor vehicle. The group said.
However, the woman died.
"We, the Benevolent Society and residents, are extremely disappointed by the lack of response by the Port Antonio Hospital to provide an ambulance during an emergency," the statement read. "The loss of a life is most regrettable and such a poor response by the Port Antonio Hospital must never happen again."
The group said Thursday that they are exploring what legal actions can be brought against the hospital.
"The Free Winnifred Beach Society has undertaken a tremendous amount of work to improve the aesthetic of the beach and most of all the safety and security of its users," the statement continued. "We will be exploring all available legal options to ascertain how the Port Antonio Hospital can be held accountable for this gross negligence which resulted in a loved one’s life being lost."
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