Call to overturn ‘barbaric’ ban on hospital visits

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A CALL has been made for the Health Minister to reverse a temporary Covid-related visitor ban at the Hospital – with an emergency States debate being touted if the policy is not overturned.

Deputy Montfort Tadier said he had contacted Health Minister Richard Renouf following the introduction of new restrictions, which have closed off all adult wards in the General Hospital – and mental-health wards in St Saviour – to the majority of visitors.

The changes, which Deputy Tadier has called ‘barbaric’, came as several inpatients in the Hospital tested positive for Covid-19 after a very small number of visitors came in with symptoms.

The restrictions began yesterday and will be reviewed after one week, with exceptions in place regarding visits for people receiving end-of-life care, as well as those in maternity, SCBU and other special circumstances.

In a post on social media, Deputy Tadier said he had written to Deputy Renouf asking him to reverse the decision and install a ‘more robust system’ to prevent infected Islanders from entering the Hospital.

His post read: ‘The announcement that “most visits” to hospital are being banned due to Covid should alarm us all. Some have very vulnerable loved ones who will feel very isolated and lonely. This is barbaric. Prisoners are treated better. Why not make LF [Lateral Flow] test compulsory for visits?’

He also said: ‘I’ve written to [the] Health Minister and copied in all States Members. I have asked him to reverse the blanket ban and put in a more robust system to prevent anyone with Covid from entering the Hospital, while safeguarding the rights of patients to have some visitors.

‘I have also said that if the ban on visits remains in place, I will lodge an emergency rescindment motion of the decision as [the] first item of business on Tuesday.’

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