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PHA calls on families to collect loved ones’ remains from morgue

The Public Hospitals Authority (PHA) yesterday issued a request for the collection of deceased individuals in the morgue at Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH).

The appeal came days after PHA Managing Director Catherine Weech revealed that the morgue had exceeded its capacity.

In a statement, the PHA said, “The morgue at the Princess Margaret Hospital, which serves the entire country, is currently operating under overflow conditions due to the increase in deceased individuals as a result of COVID-19.

“While the Public Hospitals Authority attempts to mitigate its limited storage capacity with the use of a temporary repository, the increasing number of bodies threatens morgue operations.

“Recently and regrettably, the overflow conditions compromised the integrity of a body in long term storage.”

It said it was doing all within its capacity to facilitate the holding of unclaimed bodies, bodies pending release and bodies under investigation by the coroner.

“The morgue at PMH has an excess of over 150 bodies in storage — well beyond its maximum capacity of 66 bodies,” the PHA said.

“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 is also requesting funeral homes, who are under contract by deceased families, to accelerate the removal of bodies in preparation for burial.

“In the event where bodies are not removed in a timely manner, the PHA will seek the required legal authority to remove the remains.”

The PHA invited family members or their legal representative to contact PMH’s management to arrange the collection of their deceased loved ones.

“The authority appreciates the public’s support and understanding in this critical and urgent request to ensure the ongoing delivery of medical care,” it said.

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