Minister has concerns about hospital transfer protocols

MINISTER of Health and Wellness Dr Christopher Tufton is expressing concerns about existing protocols employed by public and private health facilities with regards to the transfer of patients between hospitals.

The issue was raised at last evening’s COVID-19 digital press conference from the Ministry of Health and Wellness and followed media reports about the death of 23-year-old Jodian Fearon, who died after being denied access to health care last week.

Dr Tufton on Tuesday effectively cleared Victoria Jubilee and the Spanish Town hospitals of any foul-up in the activities preceding Fearon’s death. He later added that the report suggested that the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI) also followed protocol.

In his statement to the House of Representatives on Tuesday, Tufton said that the initial assessment of the administrative review conducted by the Ministry of Health and Wellness is that “both the Victoria Jubilee Hospital and the Spanish Town Hospital adhered to the established procedures as it relates to the transfer of patients from private facilities”.

Yesterday, he remarked that there are “other lingering concerns” as it relates to the existing protocols established by his ministry.

“I’m concerned to ensure that the protocols are, in fact, the most efficient and to the extent that they could have avoided a situation like this from occurring; I’d like to be convinced of that, and I’ve said that internally that we need to look at that,” Tufton stated.

Fearon died at UHWI late Friday after being transferred from Spanish Town Hospital, where she had delivered her first child.

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