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  • Five public health institutions are to be upgraded as part of the Ministry of Health’s North to West Trauma Plan, the centrepiece of the Government’s thrust to become the Caribbean’s leader in Health Tourism.
  • The earmarked institutions are: the Negril Health Centre, Westmoreland; Noel Holmes Hospital, Hanover; Cornwall Regional Hospital, St. James; Falmouth Hospital, Trelawny; and St Ann’s Bay Regional Hospital, St. Ann.
  • Funding for the North-West Corridor Trauma Plan will be provided by the National Health Fund (NHF), Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF), Culture, Health, Arts, Sports, and Education (CHASE) Fund, and private interests.

Five public health institutions are to be upgraded as part of the Ministry of Health’s North to West Trauma Plan, the centrepiece of the Government’s thrust to become the Caribbean’s leader in Health Tourism.

The earmarked institutions are: the Negril Health Centre, Westmoreland; Noel Holmes Hospital, Hanover; Cornwall Regional Hospital, St. James; Falmouth Hospital, Trelawny; and St Ann’s Bay Regional Hospital, St. Ann.

Under the Plan, the institutions’ capacity will be improved, thereby positioning them to effectively manage trauma cases and accept local and international referrals, where necessary.

This undertaking is expected to bridge major gaps in emergency healthcare delivery in that region.

Funding for the North-West Corridor Trauma Plan will be provided by the National Health Fund (NHF), Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF), Culture, Health, Arts, Sports, and Education (CHASE) Fund, and private interests.

Project details are being developed and will be provided by the Ministry at a later date.

The Negril Health Centre is the first slated for renovation and upgrading to a world-class Urgent Care facility, under the initiative.

The upgrade will, among other things, improve the institution’s technology and human resources to better position it treat with life threatening trauma cases.

Making the announcement during a tour of the facility on February 13, Portfolio Minister, Hon. Dr Fenton Ferguson said the institution was considered for this engagement as it was deemed ideal for referrals of the type of cases, likely to emerge, requiring emergency healthcare delivery, based on the nature and extent of Negril’s tourism-related recreational activities.

“The nature of your tourism product in this area (such as) the biking that takes place, (results in) trauma cases that emerge so often,” he said.

Currently, trauma patients in Negril are stabilized then transported to Savanna-la-mar General Hospital in Westmoreland or Cornwall Regional Hospital in Montego Bay, both of which are several miles away.

“When (injured) persons have to be (moved) from Negril to (Savanna-la-mar General Hospital), you can understand clearly (that) for some, their chances of survival becomes lower and lower. And, therefore, if we are able, at this centre to bring to the fore, the kind of services that will help, not necessarily an emergency centre, but an urgent care centre, that (then) will (enable the centre) to respond to (the needs of) these kinds of clients’ and patients,” Dr. Ferguson added.

In his remarks, Tourism and Entertainment Minister and Member of Parliament for Western Westmoreland, where the health centre is located, Hon Dr Wykeham McNeill, also underscored the importance of establishing an emergency “first stop” point in Negril for trauma patients and others in need of such care.

 

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