Gov’t Taking Responsible Approach in Dealing with Situation at Cornwall Regional – Dr. Tufton

Photo: Mark Bell Health Minister, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton.

Story Highlights

  • Health Minister, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, has assured that the Government will continue to take a responsible approach in dealing with the situation affecting the Cornwall Regional Hospital in St. James.
  • “It has taken us a year to do it (but) we had to engage in a number of activities in order to facilitate that relocation,” he said at a press conference at his New Kingston office on April 9.
  • “The main issue, the design of the ventilation system, has taken place and a contract has been awarded for a manufacturer of the system, which is in train... . It is a large item valued at over $500 million,” Dr. Tufton informed.

Health Minister, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, has assured that the Government will continue to take a responsible approach in dealing with the situation affecting the Cornwall Regional Hospital in St. James.

He noted that 33 out of 38 services offered by the facility have been relocated to the Falmouth Hospital in Trelawny.

“It has taken us a year to do it (but) we had to engage in a number of activities in order to facilitate that relocation,” he said at a press conference at his New Kingston office on April 9.

Dr. Tufton noted that steps are being implemented to remedy the situation at the Type A facility, which has been beset by air-quality issues.

The Government is spending approximately $2 billion to undertake renovations and repairs.

“The main issue, the design of the ventilation system, has taken place and a contract has been awarded for a manufacturer of the system, which is in train… . It is a large item valued at over $500 million,” Dr. Tufton informed.

Other remedial works to take place include repairs to the hospital’s roofing and redesign of some floors. Changes to the hospital’s management structure have also been undertaken.

Dr. Tufton expects that by the end of the year, repairs and improvements to the 40-odd-year-old, 400-bed multidisciplinary institution will be completed.

Meanwhile, the Health Minister expressed sincere regret at the situation and to patients and staff who have been affected.

He indicated that ongoing support will be provided for persons with recurring health issues as a result of the air-quality issues.

“We are approaching those who have been affected with a clear indication that we care about their well-being. We will apply a very compassionate approach to ensure that their best interests are served,” he said.

Dr. Tufton commended the staff, who, despite the conditions, are working assiduously to provide critical healthcare services to patients.

“I take no joy in recognising that reality… that nurses and doctors have had to endure this process of irritation, discomfort and sickness. I am really sorry they had to go through some of these experiences,” he said.

Over a one-year period, the medical staff clinic has seen 2,000 visits by members of staff affected by poor air quality.

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