Clifton Grandison, one of the protesters outside Chapelton Hospital
Residents and patients on Thursday afternoon protested outside the Chapelton Hospital in Clarendon about reduced operating hours at the hospital.
The reduction in operating hours is to facilitate repairs at the institution.
The outpatient clinic will be opened from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on weekdays and 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on weekends and public holidays.
The protesters say the Chapelton Hospital serves a large community and six months is too long for it to operate at reduced hours.
"When you call a taxi man in the night to carry somebody to hospital, even if his needle is on 'E', it can carry him here and back. To go to May Pen is a 'no no'. If they charge ($)2,500, now it would be ($)5,000, ($)6,000 for the poor person and...by the time they reach May Pen, the life is gone," said Clifton Grandison, who was one of the protesters outside the hospital.
Renovation will be carried out at the hospital's maternity and dental departments as well as the storeroom at a cost of $23.7 million.
In the meantime, the protesters also complained about the transfer of a popular doctor.
Dr. Desmond Brenon, who has worked at the hospital for more than 18 years, is to be transferred to the Lionel Town Hospital, effective Monday.
Dr. Brenon was defeated by Pearnel Charles in Clarendon North Central in the February 2016 general election.
The protesters believe his impending transfer is politically motivated.
However, they warned that their protests should not be underestimated as "it will be total chaos" if the doctor is removed from Chapelton Hospital.