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Energy Phillip Paulwell
Human Resource and Social Development Committee of Parliament
North West St Ann
Member of Parliament
South West St Ann
Member of Parliament
NW St Ann
Bright and Shiny New Member
Gripped by the revelations of a medical doctor who on the weekend highlighted her experiences with young children infected with sexually transmitted diseases, former president of the Jamaica Medical Doctors' Association (JMDA) Dr Dayton Campbell, said the silence and under-reporting of sexual abuse of children, was equally traumatic on the victims.
Campbell noted that some may never recover from the scars of abuse. Campbell told The Gleaner yesterday that doctors are mandated by law to report sexual abuse on children, once they are below the age of consent, to the Child Development Agency (CDA) and the Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse (CISOCA). "Once there is a child below the age of consent who there is any suspicion that this person is having any sort of sexual contact, it is normally reported," he said. Although above the age for sexual consent, Campbell said a pregnant 17-year-old who requires a C-section for delivery cannot give consent. They can only give consent at age 18 years. He said teachers would often see, and become much more aware of the abuses than doctors, "as some signs and symptoms are not necessarily brought to the doctors". "But the worst part is the silence in bringing the perpetrators to justice. Sometimes the sexually abused children are accompanied by the very individuals who are abusing them," he said. Campbell, who is now a legislator in Jamaica's House of Representatives, said the fear of repercussions from perpetrators has allowed abusers to become multiple repeat offenders, never being prosecuted for their crimes on children.
Dr Dayton Campbell - North West St Ann
Dr Dayton Campbell - North West St Ann Dr Dayton Campbell - North West St Ann As president of the Jamaica Medical Doctor Association, Dr Dayton Campbell criticised the Government's free health-care policy. A few weeks later he was heading to his home constituency of North West St Ann to fill a vacancy created after illness forced former police commissioner Lucius Thomas to withdraw as the PNP candidate. For the past two months he has been urging the people of North West St Ann to give him the honour to lead them in the House of Representatives. When the people went to the polls yesterday they chose Campbell over the JLP's Othneil Lawrence, the man they had elected in 2007.
Similar sentiments were echoed by Hugh Buchanan, who will be representing the People's National Party (PNP) in South West St Elizabeth and Dr Dayton Campbell, who has replaced Lucius Thomas as the PNP's standard bearer for North West St Ann.
Buchanan, the son of the late PNP stalwart and parliamentarian Donald Buchanan will be challenging Dr Christopher Tufton, while Campbell will be trying to oust the JLP's Othneil Lawrence. I am running a campaign based on selling a vision to the people of North West St Ann," said Campbell, a former president of the Jamaica Medical Doctors' Association, who also disclosed that he was in the middle of a law degree. Hugh Buchanan (left) listens as his People's National Party colleague Dr Dayton Campbell speaks at the Observer Monday Exchange.
Kudos to Dayton Campbell, Dawn Lindsay, and Hugh Dixon.
Dr Campbell is president of the Jamaica Medical Doctors' Association, Dawn Lindsay is a pharmacist and member of the Pharmaceutical Society of Jamaica, and Hugh Dixon is vice-chairman of the Public Sector Pharmacists' Association. Dr Campbell had recommended to the HRSDC that the Government should amend its blanket no user-fee policy to one limited to providing free health care to children, the disabled, and the poor who are unable to pay. In the verbal battle, Dr Campbell boldly fired back, "I won't come down to your level! That was exactly Dr Campbell's position before the committee.
Making a submission to a meeting of Parliament's Sessional Select Committee on Human Resources and Social Development at the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown Kingston, JMDA President Dr Dayton Campbell said while the association supported the intent behind the free health care policy it could not ignore the horror stories emanating from the system.
"There are stories coming out of Cornwall [Regional Hospital] literally of doctors falling to the floor in the middle of surgery; they are literally inside somebody's abdomen and falling to the floor because they have been up for the entire night operating and it's just inadequate staffing of the hospitals," he told the committee. "The staff is extremely overworked and underpaid, which does not leave a lot of room for motivation. The workload is exhausting and equipment is lacking with ratios as bad as one nurse to 25-30 patients in some institutions. This cannot be acceptable," he stated. Dr Campbell, who said the association wanted it to be made "abundantly clear" that it was not attempting to shoot down the idea of the free health care policy, argued that a way should be found to improve the service as there was also discomfort among patients. Dr Campbell, whose disclosure apparently did not find favour with Government committee members Franklyn Witter and Dr St Aubyn Bartlett, said as a result of the strain on the system there were limited supplies, with reports of patients being discharged with low haemoglobin levels because of the unavailability of transfusion sets and drugs, non-functioning radiologic machines, and CT-Scans among others. In highlighting the lack of privacy and citing examples of patients sharing beds and being examined in the corridors by doctors because of spacing deficiencies, Dr Campbell disputed the findings of a recent survey conducted by the Ministry of Health which showed some 75 per cent of persons saying they were impressed with the level of privacy. "I am not sure we can give credit to that study because 104 persons is certainly not an adequate sample size to comment on something like this, because when in hospitals like KPH you have patients being seen in the corridors, I don't know how much privacy can be gained from that," said Dr Campbell. He was taken to task by Witter and Bartlett for the comment. The MPs contended that Dr Campbell should provide the committee with information as to what existed in the system before the removal of the fees, leaving Campbell to query whether the association had been invited to give its honest opinion or to take sides.