More pressure is this afternoon being brought to bear on Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller to fire her embattled Health Minister, Dr. Fenton Ferguson.

The Opposition Jamaica Labour Party, JLP, says Dr. Ferguson has failed Jamaica by his poor handling of the intensifying Chikungunya outbreak.

In a statement this afternoon, Opposition Leader Andrew Holness, said Ferguson must go.

Regarding the Chikungunya outbreak, Mr. Holness says at first Dr. Ferguson denied that there was a problem and declined to act.

Mr. Holness notes that Dr. Ferguson accused anyone who expressed concern as alarmist, and politicizing the Chikungunya outbreak.

The Opposition Leader say now thousands of Jamaicans are ill all at once.

He says the rate of spread of Chikungunya seems beyond the capacity of Dr. Ferguson’s Ministry, the education system and the average household to respond effectively.

The JLP leader says Jamaica has no confidence in Fenton Ferguson’s ability to manage his portfolio.

But, despite this, Mr. Holness is observing that Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller has been silent.

He says as the deadly Ebola disease surfaces in the United States, Mrs. Simpson Miller should ensure that Jamaicans are best protected.

He says Dr. Ferguson is not the man to put plans in place to offer such protection.

According to Mr. Holness, the Minister should pay the price for his poor stewardship and a serious and objective assessment of the state of readiness of the public health services be immediately undertaken.

The Opposition Leader also expressed concern about the rate of spread of Chikungunya, it’s devastating impact on those afflicted and how it will affect productivity and possibly tourism.

He notes that there’s no visible practical plan to contain the mosquito vector and control or slow down its spread across Jamaica.

The Opposition Leader charged that despite all these issues and poor communication from Dr. Ferguson’s Ministry, the Prime Minister has been missing on the devastating Chikungunya virus.

He says in the public interest, the Prime Minister should make a special emergency allocation of resources for control of the mosquito vector and an island-wide cleaning of drains and gullies and clearance of garbage.

–30–