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Apr 23, 2019

Southern Regional Morgue Closed Down

The morgue at the Southern Regional Hospital has been closed down and it will remain that way for possibly another week or two. It comes on the heels of another complaint about the nonfunctional morgue. In the most recent incident, Evan Andrewin reported that his wife died last week and he wasn’t able to store her body at the morgue. Andrewin also had to provide private transportation and make arrangements to store his wife’s body at home. Today when we spoke with regional manager, Doctor Franelda Gutierrez, she explains that there was a miscommunication with the family, but they are doing their best to rectify the situation. She explains what measures are in place to assist families.

 

On the Phone: Dr. Franelda Gutierrez, Regional Health Manager

“The morgue at the Southern Regional Hospital is not functional at the moment. It became dysfunctional the first time and that was addressed. In about ten days after it became functional it was up and running, however, after about four or five days there-after, it started showing signs of malfunctioning again and we took decisions to shut the morgue. So, it has been out of function for the past few days.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“What are the measures in place and the steps to fix the problem?”

 

On the Phone: Dr. Franelda Gutierrez

“The plans that are in place this time are that when relatives who die inside of the hospital or relatives who die outside of the hospital and whose relatives cannot transport them then we provide the transportation to the PG Community Hospital or to the Western Regional – so any of the hospitals where there is space. We have had that system in place since day one. So, to addressing the situation, at no point in time have we stopped looking for ways to get the morgue back up and running.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“If the hospital is assisting with the transportation – why did Mr. Andrewin come forward?”

 

On the Phone: Dr. Franelda Gutierrez

“We reached out to Mr Andrewin on Friday. Someone from the Ministry of Health visited Mr. Andrewin on Friday and by then he had made arrangements and the body was shipped. However, we have been trying to locate him today because we want to assist him. In Mr. Andrewin’s case the hospital could have accommodated his transportation; however, there was a misunderstanding of the process that is in place for assisting persons like Mr. Andrewin; so it didn’t kick in.”

 

Back in March, the body of Julia Palacio Castillo was already decomposed because the morgue facilities were not working. Her family spoke of the grief it had caused them. Now in respect of the recent situation involving the Andrewin family, the People’s United Party issued a press release today condemning the shutdown of the morgue. The Ministry of Health responded to say that the P.U.P.’s release is in poor taste and is politicizing the death of an individual in search of political mileage. The ministry says it will invest in the repairs of morgue units while at the same time preparing to make a case for additional funding to purchase new units.


Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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