Regional Medical Epidemiologist at Western Regional Health Authority, Dr. Moung Aung, says the Cornwall Regional Hospital (CRH) in St. James remains the go-to location for public access to comprehensive cancer care and services.
Addressing a Jamaica Information Service (JIS) ‘Think Tank’ at the agency’s Montego Bay Regional Office in St. James on July 31, Dr. Aung outlined that the Type A institution is home to the National Cancer Care Centre.
He pointed out that the facility, which was established back in 2017, has been at the forefront of cancer-related support and health services for the people of Western Jamaica throughout the years.
“We opened the cancer care centre at the Cornwall Regional Hospital where we have different [cancer] specialists and state-of-the-art machines set up to serve the population of the West and also, by extension, Jamaicans across the island,” Mr. Aung indicated.
He pointed out that from CT scans to mammograms are offered free at CRH, with oncologists, urologists and epidemiologists, among other expert physicians, on hand to render assistance and provide guidance.
“Also, anything that isn’t available, we always do what we call private-public partnerships. So, if you are going to be in need of a CT scan, for instance, if it is not available [at CRH], it will be provided elsewhere if it is needed,” said Mr. Aung.
“So, if I am going to need it (CT scan) as part of the diagnostic procedure, the Government will pay for it,” he added.
Dr. Aung noted that having these services at CRH forms part of the Government’s action plan to increase the effectiveness and quality of cancer prevention and control.
He said that the Government recognises that cancer is one of the top-five leading causes of death in Jamaica and is working to reduce the local cancer mortality rate as well as the cost of treatment.
In the meantime, Dr. Aung has partnered with the Westmoreland-based MistyBlue Cancer Care Foundation in its drive to inform, educate and support cancer patients in the parish.
The Foundation will spearhead several teleconferences to highlight statistics and trends relating to cancer in the parish. These will be streamed on various social media platforms during the second Wednesday of each month from August to December, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.