Hospitals throughout the island remain overcrowded, leading to longer waiting times for both treatment and services. In response to this situation, the Ministry of Health and Wellness advises the public to consider utilizing local health centers as their primary option before resorting to public hospitals. CVM News recently interviewed a representative of the South East Regional Health Authority to gain insight into the current situation.

The Ministry emphasizes the importance of visiting public hospitals only when necessary. On Friday, the Ministry announced that over 260 patients are awaiting beds at 18 different facilities. Notably, the University Hospital of the West Indies, Cornwall Regional, Spanish Town, and Savanna-la-Mar public hospitals are experiencing the highest number of patients waiting for beds.

This caution is issued in the context of a declared dengue outbreak, which the Ministry attributes, in part, to the surge in hospital admissions, with 150 dengue-related cases across the island. The Ministry also points out that the flu, other respiratory illnesses, and traumatic injuries are contributing to the increased demand for hospital care. The South East Regional Health Authority (SERHA) oversees health facilities in Kingston, St. Andrew, St. Catherine, and St. Thomas. According to SERHA’s Acting Director of Technical Services, retired Major Dr. Susan Wright, dengue isn’t the sole factor responsible for the rise in hospital admissions. Watch the report:

Reporter: Peta-Gay Coombs