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Still no word on death of Annotto Bay Hospital doctor

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Still no word on death of Annotto Bay Hospital doctor

Medical colleagues bemoan lack of investigation of Dr Yakeev Morris’s demise four months later

Sunday, November 08, 2020

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It’s now four months since the sudden death of medical intern, Dr Yakeev Morris, at the Annotto Bay Hospital and there is still no word on the investigation that should have been done into the manner in which he died.

University of the West Indies-trained Dr Yakeev Morris complained of feeling unwell, which included having dizzy spells while he travelled in an ambulance with a neonate to the Bustamante Hospital for Children in St Andrew on the evening of August 12. Dr Morris had been assigned to the paediatric ward of St Mary’s largest medical institution, located on the outskirts of the eastern seacoast town of the same name.

Dr Morris was taken back to the Accident and Emergency Department of his workplace where efforts to revive him failed and he was pronounced dead by a colleague.

The North East Regional Health Authority (NERHA), the State agency which has oversight responsibility for the hospital, confirmed that Dr Morris was accompanying a clinical team with a transfer of a neonate from the paediatric ward of the hospital to the Bustamante Hospital for Children in St Andrew when he complained of not feeling well, and was suffering from dizziness. “He collapsed, and despite attempts to resuscitate him, he remained unresponsive, and was subsequently pronounced dead at the Accident and Emergency Department of the hospital, around 6:50 pm,” NEHRA said.

Dr Morris, a football fanatic, who favoured English Premiership club Chelsea, was called Foska by his friends, who described him as a confident and quiet individual.

The NERHA leadership, and that of the Annotto Bay Hospital, held grief counselling sessions with members of the hospital staff, but the cause of Dr Morris’s death was not disclosed, and although an autopsy was scheduled, the result has not made public, which is causing anxiety within the ranks of doctors in the medical system who knew him well.

Many of Dr Morris’s peer believe that the long hours that he was assigned by the hospital to work contributed to his death. Unconfirmed reports are that he worked every night on 12-hour shifts from Saturday, August 8, to the day he died.

Another doctor even said that to knowledge, there was evidence that Dr Morris had been showing signs of the coronavirus, which has spread like an uncontrollable blaze in Jamaica, and is nearing 10,000 cases since the first recorded one in March of this year.

“From what I get to understand, Dr Morris might have contracted COVID-19, and because he had been assigned to do so many things and clearly wasn’t getting enough rest, or may not have been eating right, based on the demands of the job, he became vulnerable to the disease,” the seasoned medical professional suggested.

Another lashed the Ministry of Health and Wellness for failing to adequately address the matter by speeding up the investigation.

“We don’t even know if an investigation has started, although we were told that one would be done. That’s not good at all. Look, this is a young man who devoted his life to caring for other people, yet no one seems to care about him.

“He has a mother, he has a family. After all, he was a human being, and not because he has died should the authorities disrespect him like this. The Ministry of Health must do better than that,” the irate doctor suggested.

When contacted Minister of Health and Wellness Dr Christopher Tufton said over a week ago that he would check on the status of the investigation. On Friday when the Sunday Observer checked with him again, he said that he had no information on the progress of the investigation.

There were also failed attempts to reach Senior Medical Officer of the Annotto Bay Hospital Dr Glenton Strachan, as he did not respond to Whatsap messages and telephone calls.

Dr Morris served as chairman of Taylor Hall at The University of the West Indies during the 2016-2017 academic year.

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