Portland MPs hand over buses to transport health workers during COVID-19 crisis

East Portland MP Daryl Vaz (third from left) and wife East Portland MP Ann-Marie Vaz deliver three buses to health workers Friday.

Members of Parliament for West and East Portland, Daryl and Ann-Marie Vaz, respectively, on Friday handed over to North Eastern Regional Health Authority three 15-seater Hiace buses.

The vehicles are for the purpose of transporting health workers in Portland, including nurses and doctors, for the duration of the current coronavirus crisis. The handing over of the vehicles was formalised during an event at the Port Antonio Hospital. Two of the buses were secured after representation was made to a private sector company by both MPs. Additionally, both MPs have loaned the health authorities a personal bus during this period.  

“So crucial is their role, I believe that no nurse or health worker in Portland or anywhere should be put through the rigours of the sometimes-challenging public transportation system, particularly at this time,” Daryl Vaz commented.

For her part, Ann-Marie Vaz commented, “Portland may not be insulated from COVID-19, hence it is time for all hands on deck to assist the parish and by extension, Jamaica to overcome the current situation.”

Minister Daryl Vaz called on the private sector to consider making available more transportation options for medical personnel, some of whom are on the frontline battling the virus and do not have easy access to traverse between their homes and places of work. The West Portland MP noted that with the tourism sector now at a virtual standstill, it is possible that a host of vehicles may be idle and could, in the interim, assist in alleviating transportation challenges facing public sector health personnel.