Some of Jamaica’s hospitals are still struggling to reduce their waiting time due to limited space and insufficient bedding at their facilities.

It’s a matter that the administration at the Savanna La Mar Hospital is trying to address.

Speaking with CVM LIVE recently, the Chief Executive Officer, Camile Lewin shared that they are operating beyond their capacity and taking in more patients than there are available beds. She says the administration has since adopted a bed management system that has been working in their favor.

The comments being made by her follows the move made by Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Christopher Tufton. In his May 7, 2019 Sectoral Presentation, he stated that  a one billion dollar intervention would be used to  free up bed space by removing social cases from hospitals and placing them in nursing homes based on certain criteria.

He said the large number of social cases in the system is as a result of persons who are clinically fit for discharge from the hospital, but remain because their relatives have failed to claim them. As a result new patients – those in need of admission services – are denied access, since the beds are occupied by those persons who remain in the facilities for extended periods.

The Minister went further to note that one social case can prevent occupancy by at least 49 patients in any one year. Currently, there are 197 social cases in hospitals across the island, amounting to some 9,653 Jamaicans being unable to access in-patient care annually, 24 of these cases are at the Savanna La Mar General Public Hospital.

– Khadijah Thomas