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US Embassy helping CRH

Monday, March 20, 2017

THE United States Embassy in Kingston is providing help for Cornwall Regional Hospital, where operations have been badly affected by potentially harmful fumes escaping from an old air conditioning system.

“The Embassy, through the United States Agency for International Development and the Pan American Health Organization, will secure US$50,000 for immediate use by the hospital to set up a temporary 10,000-square-foot facility adjacent to the compound. Another US$15,000 has been allocated by the US Department of Defense to facilitate the purchase of necessary supplies,” the embassy stated in a news release on the weekend.

The problem, which has been plaguing the hospital for more than 10 years, has resulted in a planned 90 per cent reduction in operations and the relocation of 50 per cent of services so far.

Earlier this month, Finance Minister Audley Shaw said the Government is treating the crisis at the hospital as a matter of the highest urgency and will make available whatever funds are required to fix the problem.

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“We have the resources. We have a National Health Fund, one of our public bodies that has funds in it, and this case is a clear danger to the health of our nurses, doctors, administrative and ancillary workers, and a threat to the health of those who are already not well,” Shaw said.

“Whatever funds that will be required will be made available. I want to make it absolutely clear: Fixing the problem at Cornwall Regional Hospital has passed the issue of money. It’s a question now of the timeline for having it done efficiently and having the appropriate equipment in place,” Shaw added.

On the weekend the US Embassy said Ambassador Luis G Moreno, in a recent letter to Foreign Minister Kamina Johnson Smith confirming the emergency assistance, emphasised that there exists a strong and durable friendship between the United States and Jamaica, and the US will continue to do all it can to assist during this difficult time.

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