Minister of Health, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, says the relocation of outpatient services from the Cornwall Regional Hospital is being done as seamlessly as possible and without a lot of inconvenience to patients.
Eleven critical medical services have already been relocated to the newly retrofitted facility at the Seventh Day Adventist’s Western Jamaica Conference Centre in Mount Salem, which is adjacent to the hospital.
Dental, Psychiatry and OB/GYN clinics should be relocated to the facility within a few days in order to have all outpatient services under one roof.
Psychiatry is currently being offered at the Holy Trinity Church while the other two services are at the Barnett Clinic.
“When this is done it will mean that we will be able to place all the outpatient clinics at one facility, which will make the management and logistics in addition to the proximity to the hospital so much easier,” Dr. Tufton said, during a tour of the Western Jamaica Conference Centre on Saturday (March 18).
He said he is happy that everything is within close proximity and that the interest and well-being of patients are at the forefront of all the decisions that are being made.
Dr. Tufton expressed appreciation to the Seventh Day Adventist organisation for allowing the use of the conference centre, noting that the gesture is one that shows a love of country and a deep respect for humanity.
“It does make life generally easier for us as it allows the staff to provide the services that the patients and the population needs,” he pointed out.
The clinics currently serve 450-500 out-patients per day and the Minister expects that as the system becomes more organised, the number of patients served will get closer to the 700-client capacity of Cornwall Regional.
In the meantime, Dr. Tufton is urging persons “who don’t need to be here to go to other facilities in Trelawny and Hanover to take off some of the pressure.”
Paving will begin in the week of March 20 to accommodate 13 retrofitted containers, 10 of which will house medical labs and the others will provide space for medical records and the nurses’ station.
In addition, the student housing facility at Cornwall Regional is being retrofitted to accommodate in-patients who are now on wards on the hospital’s main building.
“Work is ongoing at the Falmouth Hospital to restore the two operating theatres with the likelihood of operations being possible within two weeks or earlier,” Dr. Tufton informed.
He noted that the operating theatres were put in place when Jamaica hosted the ICC Cricket World Cup in 2007.
The relocation exercise is due to a nagging problem of noxious fumes emanating from an antiquated ventilation system at Cornwall Regional.
The Ministry has appointed a technical team to address the problem and is receiving support from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).