Dr. Christopher Tufton
Health Minister Dr. Christopher Tufton says the government will be announcing plans next year to address delays in scheduled surgeries at hospitals across Jamaica.
His comment follows concern expressed by the Opposition about delays in scheduled surgeries at the Kingston Public Hospital (KPH) and the Victoria Jubilee Hospital (VJH).
Spokesman on Health Dr. Dayton Campbell said elective obstetric surgeries at VJH are delayed due to a staff shortage and a non-functioning operating theatre.
But Dr. Tufton said it is not unusual for scheduled surgeries to be pushed back to deal with more severe cases.
"The hospital functions based on elective surgeries and emergency surgeries, and there are some times that someone has a planned surgery to be done, an elective surgery, but then, at the appointed time, you have a gunshot victim or a stab victim or a heart attack victim coming in and we you to push back that elective person to deal with it because we have limited theatres," he explained.
Dr. Tufton said this is the reason the government has embarked on a 10-year strategic plan, and come next year, will be announcing the implementation of a plan to upgrade five hospitals over a period of time.