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Story Highlights

  • Contract worth $38 million for the expansion of the Haemodialysis unit
  • Demand for the service continues to increase
  • Usage to increase from 220 to 325 dialysis episodes for patients each week

Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson, on August  2, signed a contract worth $38 million for the expansion of the Haemodialysis unit at the Cornwall Regional Hospital (CRH), in St. James.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, held at the offices of the Western Regional Health Authority (WRHA), in Montego Bay, Dr. Ferguson said the expanded unit will accommodate more patients.

“We are working steadfastly at ensuring that no facility is left out and that we provide the necessary environment needed to improve the health of our people,” the Minister said.

“I am particularly excited about the work to be done to expand the Haemodialysis unit, given that this has always been an area with limited capacity across the health sector. The need is rising as a result of the increasing prevalence of non-communicable diseases,” he noted.

Dr. Ferguson said that the CRH has, over the years, been expanding the Haemodialysis unit as the demand for the service continues to increase, adding that the unit moved from five work stations in 1998, to 12 and it is now at 18.

He noted that after the expansion project, the unit will house some 27 work stations, and will increase the usage from 220 to 325 dialysis episodes for patients each week.

“This is significant, when we consider that diabetes, which is one of the main risk factors for kidney failure, is ranked as the leading cause of death among women and the third leading cause of death for men,” the Minister said.

He also toured the refurbished dietary department (kitchen) at the hospital, and commissioned into service the new standby generator which was installed at a cost of $36 million.

Stressing that the kitchen is important in health care delivery, Minister Ferguson said “there is a need to ensure that the output of the department is in keeping with patient demand.” The Minister noted that the cost of this project  was $20 million.

The Minister lauded the National Health Fund (NHF) for providing funds for both projects.