Princess Margaret Hospital. Photo: Shawn Hanna/Tribune staff
By EARYEL BOWLEG
Tribune Staff Reporter
THE Public Hospitals Authority has renewed its appeal for people to collect stored bodies at Princess Margaret Hospital’s morgue, saying the facility has more than 150 bodies in storage - over its maximum capacity of 66.
And the PHA has warned families it may be forced to take action if the situation continues.
In a press release yesterday, PHA said health officials will seek the required legal authority to remove remains in the event that bodies are not removed in a timely manner.
The PMH is currently operating “under overflow conditions due to the increase in deceased individuals as a result of COVID-19”.
PHA revealed the situation led to a body in long-term storage being “compromised”.
“While the Public Hospitals Authority (PHA) attempts to mitigate its limited storage capacity with the use of a temporary repository, the increasing number of bodies threatens morgue operations,” the PHA statement noted.
“Recently and regrettably, the overflow conditions compromised the integrity of a body in long-term storage.
“The PHA is doing all within its capacity to facilitate the holding of unclaimed bodies, bodies that are pending release, and bodies that are under investigation by the coroner.
“Existing protocols and regulations are being strictly enforced to expedite the notification and retrieval of bodies from the morgue in a timely manner.”
The PHA requested funeral homes that are under contract by deceased families to “accelerate” removing bodies in preparation for burial.
“The Public Hospitals Authority invites family members or their legal representatives to contact management at the Princess Margaret Hospital at telephone number 322-2861 to arrange for the collection of their deceased loved ones,” the release stated.