JIS News

A new medical ward, accommodating 40 beds, is to be built at the Cornwall Regional Hospital in Montego Bay, St. James.

This was announced by Minister of Health, Hon. Rudyard Spencer, on January 6, at a function at the hospital, to honour long-time donor of the health facility, Ms. Billie Rees West.

"We have already identified the space for the new medical ward. The new ward will house both male and female patients and will reduce the time it takes for patients to be admitted. The proposal for funding is already being developed," the Minister said.

Minister of Health, Hon. Rudyard Spencer (centre), speaking with patients during his tour of the Cornwall Regional Hospital on January 6.

He informed that among new initiatives to come on stream at the Cornwall Regional Hospital was the establishment of a contract with IGL to pipe the health facility for oxygen and medical gases at a cost of approximately $12 million.

"This project will begin next Monday, January 10 and will, in the long run, result in tremendous savings for us as it will reduce wastage and limit the use of cylinders. Gases will now be delivered more efficiently and the overall cost for medical gases will be less," Mr. Spencer pointed out.

He also announced plans for significant improvements to dental services at the hospital. "As we speak, the technocrats in the Ministry are in a retreat with the dentists, in an effort to address some of the unresolved issues. We are in the process of procuring some new equipment for that area and we are spending some $8 million to acquire 16 new dental chairs. We are committed to placing more focus on dental services for the new financial year," he said.

"The extension of the services at the hospital is a reflection of our continued commitment to provide health services to the people of Jamaica, particularly in the western region," the Minister added.

Minister of Health, Hon. Rudyard Spencer (right), presents a plaque to Billie Rees West (seated), long-time contributor to the Cornwall Regional Hospital, at an appreciation ceremony at the hospital on January 6. Professor Charles Bagwell is seated behind Ms. West.

Mr. Spencer congratulated Ms. West for her "tremendous" help to the development of the Cornwall Regional Hospital.

"We are here to recognise and honour a very special person who has contributed tremendously to the development of the hospital, the western region and health care in Jamaica, Billie Rees West. For over 20 years you have been offering dedicated service to Jamaica in the area of health care. I would like to thank you for your commitment to this hospital and to patient care in Jamaica. You are an example to all of us and I encourage more persons to follow your lead," the Minister told Ms. West.

Mr. Henry presented a plaque to Ms. West, who lives in the United States.