SMO denies sick-out at Port Maria Hospital

PORT MARIA, St Mary — Senior medical officer (SMO) at the Port Maria Hospital, Dr Sydney Powell has refuted reports that Wednesday’s long wait for services at the medical facility was due to a sick-out by doctors. The issue, he told the Jamaica Observer, was a shortage of staff.

“We have been experiencing a shortfall in staff, which we are rectifying at the moment,” he said.

He explained that the shortage had resulted from some doctors going on study leave while others have resigned.

According to Dr Powell, primary care doctors were called upon on Wednesday to help minimise the long wait by patients who utilise the hospital’s outpatient department and health centre. He said despite delays, there was no impact on their ability to provide primary care to the public.

“We have always implemented the five-tier triage system where priority cases such as the elderly, babies, accident victims are placed first. There is no ticketing system for patients to use,” he explained.

The SMO apologised to those affected by the delays and has given an assurance that there will be full resumption of services on Thursday, November 2.