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Dayton Campbell, Press Releases

There seems to be a stalemate between the Government and the Nurses Association of Jamaica that has resulted in the disruption of services in the public health care facilities with scores of nurses reported as being sick thus affecting the delivery of care. 

The nurses are suffering from the acute conditions of stagnation in the discussions regarding the salary /wage negotiations for 2017-2019 which have been stalled indefinitely. The Opposition is urging the Government  to move with speed to address the situation and allow normalcy to return to the health sector. 


The Government offered an increase of a meagre 3% to the nurses which equates to less than $2000 per month or less than $100 more per day. The Opposition views this as an  insult to the hard working nurses, who sacrifice daily to preserve the well being of our nation. It is clear that the nurses and other members of the health care team are overworked and grossly under paid, leaving very limited room for motivation. The Opposition stands in solidarity with the nurses and demands that the Government shows them the respect they deserve by resuming  the talks with them in an effort to  make a meaningful offer. 

The WHO recommends that 6% of GDP be spent on health care and currently only 3% of the GOJ’s budget is allocated to health care. That is unacceptable and is the cause of  the downward spiral regarding the standard of care being delivered. 


The nurses are restive and the few that I spoke to personally are questioning whether or  not they can trust the words of the Government and the Cabinet, the Prime  Minister must intervene and restore the  credibility of his administration. 

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Dayton Campbell, Press Releases

The Opposition notes, with gratitude, the advisory of the closure of the Chapleton Hospital to allow for repairs to the Dental Unit, the roof of the Maternity Ward and the Old Operating Theatre. We are well aware that these are necessary repairs as the process to commence construction was initiated long ago.

However, we note that patients are being advised to use alternate hospitals in the parish during these repairs. Hospitals such as May Pen hospital, which our checks reveal, has a number of patients, who have been admitted and unavailability of beds force them to be  on chairs. We are asserting that the suggested alternative is not viable. The CEO of the hospital is proposing a more practical solution, a Five Member Emergency Team that will be on call from 4pm to 8am, inclusive of one doctor, one nurse, one ward assistant, one porter and the ambulance driver. This team will treat and stabilize emergencies prior to transfer to other hospitals. This will mitigate against a repeat of the incident where a woman in labour, having been sent from Chapleton to May Pen, was forced to have her baby on the road because she could not make the distance. Person with Pressure issues and other pressing emergencies like gun shoot wounds, especially with the rise in shooting incidents in Clarendon, will have immediate and in some instances life saving care. 

It would be cost effective to simply send the patients to other hospitals in the parish but it would not be quality effective. The mission of the Ministry of Health, through hospitals, is to save lives not money. 

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