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Gov't making every effort in ensuring that Cornwall Regional Hospital is fully restored — Chang

Sunday, April 22, 2018

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ST JAMES, Jamaica (JIS) — Minister of National Security, Dr Horace Chang says the Government is making every effort in ensuring that the 400 bed, Cornwall Regional Hospital is fully rehabilitated and restored.

He said when completed, the facility which is located in St James, will be a genuine teaching hospital, with all the required referral services.

The national security minister made the remarks during a press briefing held last week following a tour of the hospital.

Chang further commented that tremendous work has already been carried out and the facility is being redesigned in such a way to ensure that the building is more suitable for the tropical climate.

“The original design of this hospital was never satisfactory. The money has been put in place and the Government has taken steps to ensure the capital is available,” he stated.

He noted that Health Minister, Dr Christopher Tufton, is being aided by the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS), [and] that the Pan American Health Organization is making sure that the project works efficiently and smoothly.

“At the end of the day we will have a refurbished hospital that will be worthy of the grade 'A' status that it has,” he pointed out.

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.

Other remedial works to take place include repairs to the hospital's roofing, plumbing and redesign of some floors.

In addition, the Falmouth Hospital has been renovated to increase the number of operating theatres from two to four, and an additional section is being refurbished to accommodate patients who require surgery. The 87-bed facility is being equipped with 55 additional beds.

Meanwhile, Chang said the regional staff along with the health minister, should receive full commendation and support of Jamaica for the work they have done to ensure continuity, while the hospital is being repaired.

“Winding down a hospital with specialised services is not easy. What we can say today is, the work has been done and we have found space to relocate all the services we would like to relocate. In fact, some three weeks now I think all the patients are out of the hospital and by the end of the week, all the workers will be out of the hospital,” he highlighted.

Chang says only the services that are in the basement, which was not affected along with the linear unit, which is on the outside of the main building remains.

He however, stated that while the bed spaces have gone down, the hospital continues to see as many patients as it did before, and already, certain areas of the facility have begun to see improvements.

For his part, Tufton said he is hopeful that the rehabilitative work will be completed within the next 8-12 months, provided there are no further challenges.

“I allow margins of error because of the nature of the repairs,” he stated.

He also informed that a mechanical engineering firm has been engaged to rework the designs for the plumbing of the building.

Tufton also highlighted that the contract for the ventilation system has been signed and the system is being built for installation.

He also stated that the ministry will be taking every step to ensure that the start of the pediatric arm and an adolescent unit will begin very quickly at the Cornwall Regional Hospital.

He said this will bring on stream, 220 additional beds by the time the rehabilitation work is completed.


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