Chief Executive Officer at Linstead Public Hospital in St Catherine Paul McIntyre has admitted that prisoners and other patients are treated in the same area at the medical facility.
He however said police officers are always at the hospital to guard prisoners while they are being treated.
McIntyre made the comments after a resident, Ichael Clarke-Lee, this week claimed that she witnessed porters – not police – taking a prisoner into the medical facility for treatment. She added that prisoners are driving fear into other patients because they are placed in the general Accident and Emergency area, and are not guarded by police or private security guards.
McIntyre told The Beacon: “We have no specialized area to treat prisoners; prisoners are our regular clients; not every prisoner is of a violent nature.”
He said he understands that some patients may be fearful having prisoners close to them and thinking that such prisoners may escape. McIntyre however indicated that there is no need to be scared.
“All prisoners that come to us are always accompanied by a police officer or two – and that’s the general [procedure]. If you check with the police, they will tell you that. I had a meeting with the [police] inspector the other day and that’s the same thing he expressed – that prisoners are normally accompanied by police officers,” McIntyre continued.
“If the prisoners want to go to the bathroom, the police go with them. If they are going to see the doctor the police is also with them.”
The hospital boss further stated that police are the ones who usually bring prisoners into the hospital – not porters. “Just looking at the claims [made by the resident], I can tell you off the bat that the person she described is not a prisoner – can’t be a prisoner. Porters don’t handle prisoners at all.
“We see mental health patients also and many mental health patients have to be restrained,” McIntyre noted.
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