(CMR) A growing chorus of voices is calling on officials at two prominent hospitals in Jamaica to explain why a pregnant woman was turned away from the facilities while in active labor.
CMR understands that a 23-year-old woman arrived at a private hospital in the corporate area sometime after 5:00 p.m on Saturday evening to deliver a baby.
Hours after arriving at the medical facility, the 23-year-old woman was told by staff that she was displaying symptoms of the coronavirus and that the hospital did not have the apparatus required to treat her.
A transfer was sought for the woman to attend the University Hospital in Mona, but the request was declined.
Other hospitals contacted reported that they did not have any space to accept the soon-to-be mother.
The woman, now identified as Jodiann Fearon, later died.
According to reports, the baby was delivered at the Spanish Town hospital.
Since news of her death, several individuals including prominent political figures have expressed outrage at Fearon’s passing.
“I genuinely do not care who wants to judge, criticize or demonize me… The local “professional “Health Care” workers that denied a pregnant woman admission to hospital because she was displaying signs of COVID-19 reflect the same culture of heartless & uncaring callousness,” said Councillor Kari Douglas
The controversial councilor said that it was the heartless and uncaring behavior of hospital staff that resulted in her lashing out against staff at the Bustamante Children's Hospital in 2019.
“It is unfathomable how there was no voice of reason – nobody who cared enough to save her precious life,” added Douglas.
Similarly, Donna Hope a lecturer at the University of the West Indies said that she was saddened at the treatment of Fearon by staff at the hospital.
“My deepest and most sincere condolences to the family and friends of Jodiann Fearon on her untimely passing. She would have celebrated her 24th birthday on April 28. I am angry and saddened at the treatment of Jodiann by our hospitals,” said Hope.
“This is a direct result of the level of stigma and discrimination that has exploded from the extreme fear that COVID-19 has generated. The MOHW and the private healthcare sector must take immediate steps to address this issue. If those who need urgent healthcare cannot access what they paid for, and what our taxes provide, then we are lost in the midst of this wicked time,” added the lecturer.