Sun | Dec 16, 2018

Cornwall Regional Hospital like a relic - Tufton

Published:Saturday | March 17, 2018 | 12:00 AMChristopher Thomas/Gleaner Writer
Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton (right) on a tour of a section of the Cornwall Regional Hospital in Montego Bay, yesterday. Also pictured is retired Army Major Marlon Stephens, project overseer for the restoration work currently under way at the facility.


Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton says the physical appearance of medical facilities must play a role in the care and wellness of patients, and, as a consequence, he wants the maintenance of facilities such as the Cornwall Regional Hospital in Montego Bay to get priority attention.

Tufton yesterday toured the facility, which is struggling with an emission of noxious fumes, to assess the progress of restoration work that is taking place there. He was accompanied by repre-sentatives from his ministry and the Western Regional Health Authority.

"This building, if you look at it aesthetically, appears like an ancient relic to be confined to a scrap heap," said Tufton, who has been touring the hospital on a monthly basis since the outbreak of the noxious fumes over a year ago. "I am not taking back my talk when I say it.

"Critical services are inside, and doctors and nurses, but when you approach the building and look at it from the back or the side, it looks like it could create or increase the depression that one may be suffering and has come to get service for," added Tufton.

The minister disclosed that one of the focuses of his upcoming compassionate care programme would be on improving the general environment of facilities, where patients come to receive treatment.

"Clinical support to our people is not just about the clinical expertise that drives assessment of ailments, prescription of medication, and provision of clinical services. It is also about the look and feel of the facilities," said Tufton. "It is therapeutic for people to wait for services in an environment that looks and feels clean and where people can feel like they are somebody."

He added: "Part of the new arrangement has to be that we improve the maintenance services of our critical infra-structures like [this facility]. In situations where we have larger or more sophisticated facilities like our Type A hospitals, including Cornwall Regional Hospital, our maintenance arrangements have to be a lot better than they are."