Will unregistered hospitals receive just a slap on the wrist?

Letters to the Editor

Will unregistered hospitals receive just a slap on the wrist?

Thursday, May 14, 2020

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Dear Editor,

As is often the case, weaknesses in aspects of the Jamaican records management system are highlighted following some major crisis.

True to form, following the tragic death of Jodian Fearon, the revelation was made that a number of private hospitals are not registered, nor have been for many years, according to a recent article in a local newspaper, captioned 'Andrews: We've never been approached for registration', appearing May 10, 2020.

Indeed, this continues to be a bitter pill to swallow, when the article indicated that the Ministry of Health and Wellness has a Standards and Regulations Division.

Is it appropriate that the remedy for an institution that has never registered for 76 years be to merely apply for current registration without accruing any penalties for loss of income to the Government for years of back registration?

What accounted for the systemic breakdown that resulted in the non-registration of some private hospitals falling through the cracks?

What is the mandate of the Ministry of Health and Wellness's Standards and Regulation Division, and who will be held accountable (suspended or dismissed) for this untenable situation?

It is said that ignorance of the law is no excuse. However, it is well worth noting Christopher Bryan's article, 'Protecting the rule of law', published in the Sunday Observer, February 2, 2020, in which we are reminded: “Rule of law refers to a principle of governance in which all people, institutions, and entities, including the State itself, are accountable to laws that are equally enforced and independently adjudicated, and which are consistent with international human rights, norms and standards.”

Joan Francis Kingston 10 ajfrancis08@gmail.com

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