Dr. Andrew Manning and Dr. Patrick Wheatle, Regional Technical Director for the North East Regional Health Authority
Dr. Andrew Manning, President of the Medical Association of Jamaica (MAJ), has said more bed spaces will be needed as COVID-19 cases continue to surge.
Already, the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI) has advised that it is out of space for COVID patients as cases of the virus rise.
"We in our country now have a very limited capacity to admit COVID-19 patients. We have about 600 beds available now, and if you just do the math, looking at the recent levels of hospitals, if we don't check the surge, we're going to run out of beds," Dr. Manning cautioned.
"And we're not even talking about all the other persons who need hospitalisation because you still have persons coming in with cardiovascular disease, we're still unfortunately seeing our trauma patients and other medical conditions, so we do need to do something."
Dr. Manning, who was speaking on the Morning Agenda on Power 106, again reiterated his call for the government to review COVID-19 prevention measures as the positivity rate continues to increase.
NERHA not overwhelmed
Fortunately, Dr. Patrick Wheatle, Regional Technical Director for the North East Regional Health Authority (NERHA), has said hospitals in St. Ann, St. Mary and Portland are not overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients at this time.
Dr. Wheatle told Radio Jamaica News on Monday that there are still beds available and the authority is hoping the surge does not affect that.
However, he said NERHA stands ready to manage the situation in the event the system comes under pressure.
Giving a breakdown on bed capacity at hospitals in the region, Dr. Wheatle noted that two of three high dependency unit beds and five of 26 isolation beds are still available at St. Ann's Bay Hospital.
At Annotto Bay Hospital, four of 10 isolation beds are available, while Port Antonio has seven of 10 beds still free.
Dr. Wheatle said there are also 32 beds available as part of the region's "surge plan."