11 Aug DALLEY WANTS AN APOLOGY FROM HOSPITAL ADMINISTRATION FOR CONSTRUCTION ON CHILDREN’S WARD
Kingston, Jamaica, August 7, 2017: Opposition Spokesman on Health, Mr. Horace Dalley is calling for a public apology from the management of the Savanna La Mar Hospital to the parents and staff of the hospital for allowing heavy-duty construction works on the children’s ward at the hospital without proper planning to protect the children and staff from adverse exposure. He is also calling on the hospital’s management to take immediate action to protect the children on the affected ward.
Mr Dalley is asking Minister Christopher Tufton to instruct the Western Regional Health Authority to investigate the matter; and take action against those responsible for the breach in procedure.
The activities on the children’s ward included the mixing of mortar while it was fully occupied with children, without proper protective screens and other necessary precautions.
Mr. Dalley points to the breakdown in the communication between the hospital’s management and medical staff, evident in the fact that the medical staff had no prior knowledge of the construction activity, which would have affected the normal activities on the ward.
The Opposition Spokesman, who served as Minister of Health in the last administration, says there are health risks associated with the exposure to cement and these are well documented; and for children the risks can be greater if exposed to long periods of inhalation, contact with the skin or eyes.
Mr. Dalley says the activity on the ward demonstrates a clear disregard for the health and safety of children and staff by the hospital’s management, and he wants a full explanation from Minister Tufton on the protocol for heavy duty construction activities on hospital wards and compounds, especially when the areas remain in active use.
“Every effort must be made to determine if the children were improperly exposed to any harmful substance because of the construction activities and the open use of what appeared to be cement, without proper protective screens to shield the children, staff and parents.” Dalley noted.
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