Opposition questions Dr. Tufton about VJH bacterial infection situation, which resulted in the deaths of some babies

Health Minister Dr. Christopher Tufton was taken to task today (November 1), by his opposition colleagues in the Lower House, about his handling of the bacterial infection situation at the Victoria Jubilee Hospital, which resulted in the deaths of some babes.

The opposition has blasted the Health Minister for not making the issue public sooner and has called for his resignation.

However, Dr. Tufton was strident in his position that the decisions taken were in a bid to avoid creating public hysteria.

Dr. Tufton pointed out that while the opposition seems intent on making an issue out of the view that the public, especially pregnant mothers should have been made aware of the situation at the hospital, his objective and that of the medical staff in the South East Regional Health Authority, SERHA, was to fix the problem, which they did.

The opposition also raised questions about when the minister was briefed by the team from PAHO about the situation.

Dr. Tufton explained that while PAHO made a draft summary of their findings, the final official report has not yet been submitted.

He also explained that most of the issues identified by PAHO in the draft,were already noted by the SERHA medical staff, and were already being addressed.

Dr. Tufton cautioned the opposition against the narrative being put out to the public about babies who die at hospital, noting that the mortality rate has remained constant over the years, with babies dying for various reasons.

He said the 2015 incident should not be compared to the one now.


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