Ja’cans outraged after pregnant woman turned away from hospital dies

There is now a swell of voices calling on officials at two prominent hospitals in Jamaica to explain why a woman in labour was turned away from their facilities.

Jodiann Fearon

BUZZ understands that 23-year-old Jodiann Fearon arrived at a private hospital in the corporate area sometime after 5:00 pm on Saturday evening to deliver her 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 capacity to treat her.

A transfer was sought for the woman to attend the University Hospital of the West Indies in Mona, but the request was declined. Other hospitals contacted reported that they did not have any space to accept the expectant mother, who later died. According to reports, the baby was delivered at the Spanish Town Hospital, in St Catherine.

Since news of her death, several individuals including prominent political figures have begun to express outrage at the situation.

“I genuinely do not care who wants to judge, criticize or demonize me… The local “professional healthcare workers that denied a pregnant woman admission to hospital because she was displaying signs of COVID-19 reflect the same culture of heartless and uncaring callousness that caused me to lose my cool at BHC late last year!” Councillor Kari Douglas said. “It is unfathomable how there was no voice of reason—nobody cared enough to save her precious life.”

Said UWI lecturer Donna Hope: “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 a lecturer at the University of the West Indies.

“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.”