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Andrew holness, opposition leader has called for Health Minister Dr. Ferguson to go, in light of the deaths of 19 babies in Hospitals

Andrew Holness (JLP) leader of the opposition

The opposition has accused Dr. Fenton Ferguson of lying about when he knew that babies died from bacteria outbreak.

Health Minister Dr. Ferguson admitted in Parliament that the deaths from the outbreak of the deadly bacterias impacted some 42 mainly premature babies in two of the Island’s premier hospitals. The University teaching hospital and the Cornwall Regional Hospital in our second city of Montego Bay, located in the western end of the  Island. Jamaica has an estimated population of two and a half million inhabitants.

Some 19 babies died within five months at these two largest health facilities in the Island. The Portia Simpson Miller administration has been rocked with this scandal since local media broke the story in mid September. Two top administrators have resigned so far from the University, with deafening calls for Health Minister Dr. Ferguson to resign or be fired by PM Simpson Miller.

PM Simpson Miller broke her silence for the first time in Parliament, last Tuesday, expressing her regrets at the deaths of these 19 babies in the care of the State.

Interal Audit Report

If the death of the babies was not enough, the refusal of the Health Minister to release an audit Report on the health system nationally, has irked stakeholders who have been lining up to demand a release of the audit report. The Health Minister has released a summary of the report …. claiming that to release the full report could negatively impact confidence in the system as a whole.

Civil Society Pressure Mounts

There has been loud calls for the audit report to be released by the powerful Jamaica Manufacturers’ Association (JMA), The Private Sector Organization Of Jamaica (PSOJ). and the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce. (JCC)

Speaking on the very popular “Cover Story” on Nationwide FM 90.3 with Dennis Brooks and Cliff Hughes, the former Small Business Association President, Edward Chin-Mook has echoed calls for the audit Report to be released.

Audley Shaw, opposition Spokesman on Finance said Minister Ferguson knew long before he publicly said he knew of the first outbreak that led to 19 deaths of the premies (premature births).  Shaw’s stridency suggests that he has or or has seen a leaked copy of the closely guarded audit Report into the health sector.
This story is not going away …so expect a sequel in the ongoing drama …a human tragedy indeed.

By Hopeton O’Connor-Dennie, photojournalist & Senior International Correspondent & poet.

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