Health Ministry Prepared to Solve Problems Affecting Cornwall Regional Hospital

Story Highlights

  • Minister of Health Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton says the Ministry, is prepared to solve the problems affecting the Cornwall Regional Hospital, in St. James.
  • For several months, staff have been complaining that they are being affected by noxious fumes. The situation worsened last September while the ventilation system was being cleaned.
  • Dr. Tufton said the problems that are currently facing the Cornwall Regional Hospital are not new.

Minister of Health Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton says the Ministry, is prepared to solve the problems affecting the Cornwall Regional Hospital, in St. James.

He was addressing a town hall meeting at the Montego Bay Civic Centre on February 23, to address concerns over the safety of the 43-year old health facility.

For several months, staff have been complaining that they are being affected by noxious fumes. The situation worsened last September while the ventilation system was being cleaned.

“I am looking at with my team and supported by the Prime Minister and the Cabinet of Jamaica, at a major overhaul of the Cornwall Regional Hospital. I know it is going to cost a lot, but with the support …we will find the resources,” Minister Tufton said.

“When it’s all finish…it may take a year because of the complicated work that has to be done….you can rest assured that the institution will be back to where it belongs,” he added.

Dr. Tufton pointed out that the Cornwall Regional Hospital is only one of three tertiary level hospitals in the country, that offers specialist care and is also the only such of its kind in the western region of the island.

“Without the Cornwall Regional Hospital or a similar one, the people in western Jamaica would be deprived of having that care within the vicinity of where they live. They would have to travel a long distance to access a quality health facility,” he stated.

Dr. Tufton said the problems that are currently facing the Cornwall Regional Hospital are not new.

He pointed out that between 2009 and now, there have been 25 situations of air quality affecting the normal operating procedures at the facility.

“I have the specific information here that speaks of which areas have been affected and what have been the actions to solve. I have seen recommendations from as far back as 2007 for the installation of a brand new air conditioning system at the Cornwall Regional Hospital,” the Health Minister said.

The Minister however noted that, while it will not happen overnight, a complete overhaul of the electrical system in the hospital might be the appropriate route to take at this time.

“The Cornwall Regional is too important a facility where we can’t afford to ignore these problems anymore,” he added.

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