Jamaicans who abandon their relatives at public hospital may soon face legal action from the State.
Health and Wellness Minister, Dr Christopher Tufton, speaking in the Sectoral Debate in parliament this afternoon, disclosed that this is among measures to be pursued to address the problem of social cases at hospitals.
Tufton said many of these patients are in good health and are taking up critical bed space.
He explained that one social case can prevent occupancy by at least 49 patients in any one year.
Currently, there are 197 social cases in hospitals islandwide, amounting to some 9,653 Jamaicans being unable to access in-patient care annually, the health and wellness minister outlined.
He said the government will be moving to hold family members accountable to take care of their relatives.
“In many instances, these social cases have assets, such as houses and other property that are being used by these relatives, and when they pass on, they show up at the hospital asking for the death certificate to claim these assets.