Patient threatens to sue hospital for abuse in Jamaica

Patient threatens to sue hospital for abuse in Jamaica

A patient at a local health facility is threatening to sue the hospital after claiming that he was physically abused by a staff member at the institution.

*Rob Brown, who lost his right leg due to diabetes complications, told THE News that he was hit in the back of the head and thrown out of his wheelchair after he voiced his concern about the physical abuse of a mental patient earlier this month. 

"It was close to midnight, and I heard a loud commotion over the other side of the ward. You know, when people hear noise them normally want to see what's happening, and I was no different. So, when I wheeled my wheelchair over there, I saw three of the staff, who usually attend to the psychiatric patients, beating one of the patients. I felt it to my core because I have a family member with mental issues. Same time mi say: 'Jesas Christ, a so dem deal with my sister when she come here'," said the man, who is still a patient at the hospital. 

Brown said that he tried to put the situation at the back of his mind by watching the television at the nurses' station. While there, he said that he was approached by one of men who was seen abusing the patient.

"Him come up to mi and say: 'Hey bwoy, the more yuh keep yuh mouth, the more it's best for you cause tings will reach yuh.' Two days later, mi a ride on the corridor to collect something from someone, when mi feel somebody turn round the wheelchair. When mi look, it was the same man who did threaten mi. Him tell mi say him a go show mi how dem deal with bwoy in ya. When him reach a mi bedside, him box mi inna mi head and lift up the wheelchair, like when people a throw sand out of barrow, and fling me out of it on the ground," Brown said.

The 24-year old patient said that he tried to defend himself by grabbing a nearby fork, but this only angered his attacker even more. He said that the man twisted his arm and added a few more blows to his body.

"I went to file a complaint with one of the head 'sisters', who called a meeting with the nurses on duty at the time and the man who beat me up. Mi talk the truth say me answer him and mi did draw the fork at him. She apologised to me, but the man say him nah tell mi sorry, and dem send mi out the office," he said.

Brown said that he requested a medical examination because of his swollen left knee, but so far his pleas have fallen on deaf ears.

He told THE News that he had often heard rumours about hospital staff mistreating those who are less fortunate, but he never believed until he became a victim. 

"I did nothing wrong, and some of the staff members are giving me the cold shoulder. All I did was express how I felt when I saw them beating up the patient. Mi nah tell no lie, I am going to file a lawsuit because the staff member was not supposed to lay his hand on me violently. Medical staff need to be screened before getting the job and have a passion for the work, and just nuh do it for the salary," he said.