Public hospitals faced with ongoing bed shortage

Jamaicans will continue to face challenges when they visit the country's government-run health facilities. 

The Health Ministry says this is due to an ongoing shortage of  bed spaces. 

Callers to the RJR Newscentre have complained bitterly of  long waiting hours and uncomfortable conditions at major health facilities, with a shortage of  beds leaving some seriously ill patients having to stay in chairs and on benches. 

Chief Medical Officer Dr Winston De la Haye says he does not expect that this will change in the short term.

"There are no doubt inadequate numbers……it is very unfortunate," he conceded.  

The average bed complement for public hospitals in Jamaica to date is 4,800. This has been deemed inadequate to serve the country's population.

A study by the Ministry of  Health has shown that the public healthcare system needs at least 7,000 beds to sufficiently serve the country.

Bustamante Hospital repairs

Meanwhile, Dr De la Haye says repairs to the Bustamante Hospital for Children’s Intensive Care Unit, which was damaged by fire in January, are complete and the unit is scheduled to be back up and running

The ICU was repaired through public/private partnership.              

Damage resulting from the January 12 fire was estimated at J$2 million.


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