'We can't take it no more' - Hospital stressed as bullets fly across town

July 07, 2017
Police vehicle on a crime scene.
A section of the Kingston Public Hospital.
Dr Christopher Tufton

“Jesus Christ! We can't take it no more," exclaimed a nurse at the Kingston Public Hospital (KPH) yesterday after yet another gunshot victim turned up at the facility for treatment.

"We tired of it. Everyday so. Four, five a day so. Weh di people dem a do to dem self,” the nurse said.

The hospital has been forced to postpone elective surgeries in order to allow it to cater to nearly two dozen gunshot victims over the past few days. 

“It’s a stressful time. The hospital is under stress,” health minister Dr Christopher Tufton said yesterday.

The hospital being out of beds to accommodate patients, and being forced to postpone elective surgeries, has been costing lives. Yesterday, as Tufton walked into the hospital yard, a grieving man told him a story about how he lost his daughter because she could not get help.

The man said that his daughter, a 25 year old mother of two, journeyed from Manchester after complaining of a headache but was unable to see a doctor. She died two hours after arriving at the hospital.

Errol Green, CEO of KPH, said the facility has been under tremendous stress. 

“We have been having some challenges over the past three or four days in terms of the number of trauma cases that we are seeing at the hospital. We have been force to revisit the way we carry out or normal activities,” he said.

The minister told our news team that up to the end of June, some 433 gunshot wounds were treated at KPH and another 128 who were declared dead on arrive.

THE WEEKEND STAR was also told that the hospital treated 133 persons for stab wounds and another 1,041 for motor vehicle related injuries.

“It’s a real issue and its an issue which frankly speaking in a number of cases could have been avoided if Jamaicans were to all band together to do more to resolve differences without resorting to violence and do better care on the roads and therefore avoiding or minimise the need to seek treatment for trauma related cases based on accidents,” Tufton said.



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