Nowhere to bathe
Parents at Bustamante Hospital face discomfort, officials ask for reports
SEVERAL PARENTS who have had to camp out at the Bustamante Hospital for Children to keep an eye on ailing young patients have revealed that they are forced to bathe outdoors on the hospital compound after being denied access to bathroom facilities.
Yesterday, responding to the declarations from the parents during a Gleaner investigation, hospital authorities said they have never received such complaints and urged parents to report staff who bar them from accessing bathrooms as this was not an official directive.
At Bustamante, parents are allowed to stay indefinitely to help nurses and doctors administer care to their children.
But with no access to bathrooms, many parents, especially those who are not from Kingston, say they go for days without a bath. Others, who can’t withstand this unhygienic practice, confessed to breaking ‘hospital rules’ in order to freshen up.
“The hospital rules say you [parents] can’t bathe on the compound, so we have to hide and do it. I bathe behind the morgue. A lot of garbage behind there, but there is a hose and a pipe that I think is to wash off hospital equipment, but we have to be skillful and go behind there to bathe,” Simone Palmer said.
During the Gleaner probe, parents showed at least four other areas where they secretly took baths after dark.
They indicated that these ‘bathroom’ spots have been chosen because of standing pipes or large tanks, which, originally, are provided for hospital staff to use.