Nurse shortage hits St Thomas Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

A critical shortage of registered nurses at Princess Margaret Hospital in St Thomas is impacting some services that are provided to patients there, according to Medical Officer of Health, Dr Dianne Jackson.

She said presently the parish is experiencing a shortage of nurses across primary and secondary care, affecting services like curative dressings and community outreach initiatives like the Health and Wellness Ministry’s ‘Know Your Numbers’ campaign.

The overall disclosures were made by Jackson as she addressed the monthly meeting of the St Thomas Municipal Corporation (STMC) on Thursday.

She said there is need for urgent assistance at the hospital in relation to the nursing shortage.

“We have reached out to the (health) region and other parishes for assistance, and we’re waiting on a response,” Jackson told councillors.

Additionally, the Princess Margaret Hospital faces a shortage of ambulances for patient transportation.

That issue was highlighted by former Morant Bay Mayor and current People’s National Party (PNP) Councillor for the White Horses Division, Hubert Williams.

He pointed to the recent challenges that were faced by late Morant Bay Deputy Mayor and PNP Councillor for the Morant Bay Division, Rohan Bryan, who needed urgent transportation to a Kingston-based health facility.

Bryan had to be taken by a private vehicle, due to the reported unavailability of both ambulances at the Princess Margaret Hospital.

The councillor, who reportedly had a heart condition, died on May 1.

In response, Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) Councillor for the Dalvey Division, Michael McLeod, who is also Chairman of the Princess Margaret Hospital board, said the issue is being looked at by health officials.

In fact, McLeod stated that Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Christopher Tufton, has promised to add an additional ambulance to the hospital’s fleet.