Three newborn deaths at General Hospital

An investigation will be launched into the death of three new borns at the General Hospital last Friday to determine the circumstances surrounding the deaths.

Minister of Health, Nickolas Steele said the health system has failed

Speaking at the weekly post-Cabinet Briefing held at the Ministerial Complex on Tuesday, Minister of Health, Nickolas Steele said that the system has failed and measures have to be taken to prevent a re-occurrence.

According to Minister Steele, a report should be prepared by Friday on the incidents by those mandated to do it.

In expressing sympathy to the families who lost their babies, the senior government minister described the incident at the hospital as one that “speaks to the human touch or lack thereof”.

“It speaks to the human touch as a government to those employed within our ministry, to make sure that those employed within our ministry as service providers, recognised their purpose, feel remunerated, and appreciated for the job that they do as well, and in so doing, we can demand that the patients are treated in a professional manner, in a humane manner”, he said.

“In fact, the only reason that I am able to make these conclusions, prior to getting the full report is because on that day, consultants that we have engaged with, were on the ground at our General Hospital, doing a pre-visit in order to facilitate the consultation that would start next week, so it was very timely,” he added.

The minister pointed out that the consultation that is scheduled to start next week will be with “our medical professionals, our nurses and doctors, re- familiarising with some of the medical practices, techniques”.
Minister Steele stressed that there should be counseling for those who are affected by the deaths of the three new borns at the hospital.

“If any Health Care provider is able to say that they are not affected by the failure of the system to an individual patient, then that individual is in the wrong profession. There must be a feeling when we lose a patient, in particular, when we lose a newborn child.

So counseling must be done as well; for our doctors and nurses and most importantly, for the mothers or parents and family…”, he said.

The Member of Parliament for the Town of St. George made a plea for the cooperation of the Ministry of Health, Public Service Commission (PSC), and the Unions representing public officers in order to move forward from the situation and try to find who and what is responsible for the deaths.

“…Focusing on one goal, primary goal being the quality of health care, and meeting the expectations of the people, primary goal should not be job security. Goal number one is quality health care, and if per chance we have the wrong people in certain positions, or if the right people have made a mistake and done the wrong thing, then the public has a right to know that the systems that have been put in place will discipline those who have committed the wrong, whether intentionally or unintentionally. The medical profession is one that demands that…”, he said

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