Minister of Local Government Desmond McKenzie said that more than 500 individuals were waiting to gain admission into the various infirmaries and golden age homes across the country.
McKenzie made the revelation while speaking in a sitting of parliament on Tuesday, where he provided an update on the situation in infirmaries.
“There is a waiting list of over 570 Jamaicans waiting to gain admission into the various infirmaries on golden age homes across the country,” said McKenzie.
“The number may be high, we are not sure if we are in a position to have so many bed space. But we are going to be looking at, Madam Speaker, working with my colleague, Minister of Health, to assist him next year; to see how we can, in a responsible way, look to give consideration to those who are in need,” added McKenzie.
He went on to state that Christmas would not be lost inside the nation’s infirmaries, adding that the annual holiday dinner would still be held.
According to McKenzie, the dinner would be catered for and taken into the respective facilities, where the staff and the residents on Christmas Day will sit down and have their Christmas meal.
He noted that the ministry would also make provisions for Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.
McKenzie added that while no one from outside would be allowed to enter the facilities, like in times gone by, residents would be outfitted with the necessary technologies to keep them connected to their loved ones.
“The government has taken a decision that Christmas is a time of giving, a time of sharing. And we are going to use the means of technology, Madam Speaker, by providing smartphones and tablets and the necessary facilities to allow the residents in these infirmaries to have access to see and to speak to their relatives and friends by the means of technology,” said McKenzie.