Homeless persons discharged from hospitals to be housed in infirmaries

Denzil Thorpe

More than 160 persons who have been discharged from hospitals across Jamaica have not left the facilities because they either have nowhere to go or have been abandoned by their caregivers.  
As a result, Denzil Thorpe, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Local Government, said the ministry is looking to accommodate these persons in infirmaries.
"We are going to, where possible, provide spaces and possibly additional buildings, wards in infirmaries that can accommodate those persons and move them out," he told Parliament’s Public Administration and Appropriations Committee (PAAC) on Wednesday.

"I think St. Ann was one that has already been identified and we're going to be doing some work in the St. Ann infirmary to move some of the persons out. What we're trying to do is based on some of the numbers. We have identified some critical areas that we have to make space for persons across the island," he added. 

He said funding for the initiative, which is being done in collaboration with the  Ministry of Health, will be provided by the National Health Fund (NHF).

An interim report of the Mental Health and Homelessness Task Force, released late last year, stated that there were more than 150 persons, ranging from age one to 89 years-old, who were residing in the nation’s public hospitals despite being discharged.

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