Minister of Health and Wellness Dr Christopher Tufton says an investigation has been ordered into the death of a young mother who was denied access to healthcare after presenting with flu-like symptoms.
In a message shared on social media, Tufton said that no person should ever be denied access to healthcare and the results of the investigation will be made available to the public once it is completed.
The health minister also announced that the newborn child is in stable condition in hospital.
Before the social media statement by Dr Tufton, the People’s National Party (PNP) said in a news release that the young mother’s death calls into question the public health system’s operation protocol for COVID-19.
Opposition spokesman on Health Dr Morais Guy said “the refusal of admission of this patient because of lack of preparedness for COVID-19, the fear of contracting the disease, or lack of space to a mother in active labour is unacceptable.”
“The Jamaican people need to be assured that our hospitals can treat with their emergencies, even in the face of the coronavirus epidemic. For months, the Minister of Health and Wellness has been saying, we are ready. If we are ready, this situation should not have occurred,” he added.
Dr Guy urged the Government to immediately review the preparedness arrangements in all public health facilities to ensure that adequate space for isolation is in place and that the required personal protective equipment is available to all front-line workers.