A schoolteacher, who became disabled resulting from an injury she received while conducting her duties is still awaiting assistance from the Ministry of Education.
Stacey Mansingh Bramwell was injured when a chair on which she was sitting during a staff meeting broke, causing her to fall. She injured her back and had to undergo surgery. Bramwell lost her job in the process as she was unable to work.
There was a glimmer of hope last year when she retained the services of attorney Charles ‘Advoket’ Ganga-Singh and her story was highlighted. At the time, the Ministry of Education offered her salary back and her health insurance was reinstated in April of this year. “The ministry withdrew over $200,000 of my back salary for income tax, which I shouldn’t be paying since I’m registered as disabled. To date, I can’t find out how to get back my money. I’m yet to get back the income tax withdrawn from my salary during the period 2013 to 2016,” she said.
She said the ministry did not compensate her for the surgery or make a commitment to future surgeries because the matter is before the courts.
“My doctor proposed to do the surgery in Florida at a facility there since the necessary equipment was not available here in Jamaica. So to accommodate the surgery the doctors took the necessary equipment to Jamaica to a facility in Liguanea but the insurance company said they don’t sanction that facility,” she said.
‘I can no longer perform in certain capacities for my family.’—Stacey Mansingh Bramwell
She said the equipment was then moved to a hospital from the insurance company’s list. Still, she said the company is only covering 30 per cent of the surgery. Bramwell said she is still unable to afford the surgery. “They are not helping… while I’m at home suffering… the pain is worsening. My lifestyle has changed immensely because I can no longer perform in certain capacities for my family,” she said. Stacey said she has not received any help from the Jamaica Teacher Association of which she is a paid up member. She said that she has been in touch with the organization up to last year but help has been forthcoming.