Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Desmond McKenzie, says facilities will be built on the grounds of infirmaries to accommodate persons who have been abandoned at hospitals.
He noted that the move, which will be undertaken in partnership with the Ministry of Health, will free up the bed-space in hospitals and “make room for those patients who need to be there for proper medical attention”.
Mr. McKenzie, who was addressing the recent Board of Supervision Awards and Recognition Ceremony at the Jewels Beach and Golf Resort in Runaway Bay, St. Ann, noted that from a humanitarian standpoint, hospitals are forced to accommodate persons left there by relatives.
He noted that at the Cornwall Regional Hospital in Montego Bay there were a number of “permanent residents” who had to be accommodated elsewhere in order to facilitate remedial work to address the problem of noxious fumes at the facility.
“I would like to take the opportunity to thank the Mayor of Falmouth, Colin Gager, for the quick response in taking those persons – I think 36 of them – and placing them at the Trelawny Infirmary. This is something we are going to intensify,” he indicated.
The Board of Supervision is a statutory body operating under the Ministry to supervise and monitor the delivery of poor-relief services at the local level.
Mr. McKenzie said the functions of the Board of Supervision will be integrated fully into the Ministry, making it more “efficient and leaner”.
“The objective is for us to be more responsible to the public, providing better service to more of those in the society who are in need of the services,” he noted.
“I want to also recognise the work of all the persons at the municipal level, at the agency level… those who continue to serve with dignity and distinction. There is hardly anything I can think of that would suffice for the hard work and sacrifices you have made to provide for the poor and vulnerable among us,” he said.
The Minister said the Government is committed “to giving those who find themselves in the care of the State the most dignified life possible, knowing that the worth of any society is judged by the way in which the very young and the elderly are treated”.
Article by: Garwin Davis
Photo from: www.jis.gov.jm