Jamaicans to Benefit from New Medical Facility

Photo: Sharon Earle Orthopedic Surgeon, Dr. Cecil Aird (2nd left) cuts the ribbon symbolizing the official opening of the Carnegie Hand Institute and Surgery Centre at Whitter Village, Ironshore in Montego Bay on, December 3. The state-of-the-art facility represents an investment of US$250,000 and offers a variety of services to patients with acute and chronic hand problems common to athletes, accident victims, arthritic patients and professionals with repetitive hand movements. Sharing in the moment are from left: Member of Parliament for North West St James, Dr. Horace Chang, Dr. Aird’s daughter, Daniella Aird and Senior Medical Officer at Cornwall Regional Hospital, Dr. Delroy Fray.

Story Highlights

  • Student and resident doctors stationed at the Cornwall Regional Hospital (CRH), who seek to specialise in reconstructive hand surgery, will soon get the opportunity to be trained in that discipline.
  • Senior Medical Officer at the CRH, Dr. Delroy Fray says the hospital and the Carnegie Hand Institute and Surgery Centre are in dialogue, to come to an agreement which will result in hand surgery listed among the services offered by the local health sector.
  • The training opportunity, he noted, would not only benefit doctors, but also patients suffering from accidental hand injuries and degenerative diseases affecting their upper limbs.

Student and resident doctors stationed at the Cornwall Regional Hospital (CRH), who seek to specialise in reconstructive hand surgery, will soon get the opportunity to be trained in that discipline.

Senior Medical Officer at the CRH, Dr. Delroy Fray says the hospital and the Carnegie Hand Institute and Surgery Centre are in dialogue, to come to an agreement which will result in hand surgery listed among the services offered by the local health sector.

“We are in discussions to set up a system where our young doctors at Cornwall Regional Hospital can learn the techniques of hand surgery,” Dr. Fray said.

The training opportunity, he noted, would not only benefit doctors, but also patients suffering from accidental hand injuries and degenerative diseases affecting their upper limbs.

He was speaking at the official opening of the Carnegie Hand Institute and Surgery Centre in Montego Bay on December 3.

Carnegie Hand Institute and Surgery Centre which is the first of its kind in Jamaica, is located at the Whitter Village, Ironshore.

It boasts a state-of-the-art facility deliberately designed to facilitate its dual function as a medical service centre and a training facility for medical students and residents, allowing them to perfect their surgical skills without risk to patients.

The centre which was equipped at a cost of approximately US$250,000 ($30 million) is operated by orthopaedic surgeon, Dr Cecil Aird.

The Carnegie Hand Institute and Surgery Centre will be catering to the medical needs of both local and overseas patients with acute and chronic hand problems common to athletes, accident victims, arthritic patients and professionals with repetitive hand movements.

Treatment and care offered include: reattaching amputated fingers; injuries to the wrist, hands or fingers; Carpal Tunnel Syndrome; wrist, elbow, or hand pain; sports injuries to the hand and wrist; ganglion cysts; arthritis; Dupuytren’s Contracture; Trigger Finger and tendonitis by use of microsurgery.

In his address at the opening ceremony, Dr Aird noted that he was looking forward to working with the staff at the Cornwall Regional Hospital, as they collaborate in helping patients at the hospital.

He added that one of his main reasons for returning to Jamaica was to pass on hand surgery skills to others, hoping to add to the medical landscape of Jamaica by bringing First World best practices here.

The centre is named in honour of one of Jamaica’s top physicians and surgeons of the 20th century, Dr Alfred Carnegie who served as Senior Medical Officer at the Savannah-la-Mar Hospital, Westmoreland in the 1940s. He also taught Anatomy and Physiology at the University of the West Indies (UWI). He died in 2003 at age ninety.

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