Mon | Mar 19, 2018

Controversy surrounds Falmouth's readiness for social patients

Published:Tuesday | March 21, 2017 | 12:00 AMLeon Jackson
Mayor of Falmouth Collin Gager


With the $3-million repair of the Icy Allen Care Centre now completed, the Trelawny Municipal Corporation said the facility was now ready to house the 36 social patients who are to be transferred from the problem-plagued Cornwall Regional Hospital (CRH) in St James to the Falmouth-based care centre.

Councillor Colin Gager, chairman of the corporation and mayor of Falmouth, told The Gleaner that the repair work, which took a little longer than was expected, was now completed, making the facility ready for occupancy.

However, Delroy Mowatt, the acting chief public health officer for Trelawny, said on his last inspection of the care centre, he had some concerns, which he said would have caused him not to give the green light.

"We had not given the all-clear designation," said Mowatt, who refused to elaborate. "Let's just say there were concerns."




Adding to the concern, Dr Ken Douglas, the regional director of the Western Regional Health Authority, said there was space for only 30 social patients and not the full 36.

Douglas has denied reports that only psychiatric patients will be sent to the Falmouth facility. He also dismissed concerns that the feeding of the social patients would fall in the lap of the municipal corporation.

"The preparation of meals will be done at Cornwall Regional. It is there that a dietician would be aware of the diets for each case and cater to such demands," he said.

In regards to concerns by some residents of Falmouth that the social patients, who are not ill, but are only in the hospital because they have refused to leave, should not be accommodated in Falmouth, the mayor said the matter would be discussed at a town hall meeting on Thursday, where representatives from CRH will be in attendance.