Wed | Aug 21, 2019

Editors' Forum | CRH spends big bucks for diagnostic and surgical services

Published:Saturday | June 2, 2018 | 12:00 AMErica Virtue/Senior Gleaner Writer
Errol Greene, acting regional director, Cornwall Regional Hospital.
Alwyn Miller, acting chief executive officer, Cornwall Regional Hospital.
Gilliane Ledgister, nursing director, Cornwall Regional Hospital.

The Cornwall Regional Hospital (CRH) has been shelling out big bucks for diagnostic and surgical services, spending $50 million between January and May this year, as the hospital struggles to restore services at the medical facility, which is operating on a significant scaling down of services.

Staff, patients, and services have been affected by mould infestation, which has caused a significant scaling down of services at the hospital and the relocation of others.

"[The cost of] outsourcing diagnostic services for a four-month (January to May) period is about $35 million. Outsourcing of surgical services for the period March to May is $12.3 million," the hospital's Acting Chief Executive Alwyn Miller told a Gleaner Editors' Forum on Thursday.

The costs are additional to those paid for renal services, which ran at $2 million per week for two weeks.

"We had an issue with the renal unit [in] the area where persons were dialysed, and we had to move them out. In less than no time, an area was identified, and we have built out that area now to accommodate the service. We had to outsource the service ... at a cost of $2 million per week," said Acting Regional Director Errol Greene, who, along with representatives, attended the forum.

Patients were dialysed at a cost of $15,000, which was not the full cost, according to nursing director Gillian Ledgister.

"If we got the straight market rate, it would have been much higher because we are dialysing some 54 patients per day. There was some cost sharing that went on," she said.

However, within two weeks, the hospital service began providing the service in a new area to stop the hemorrhaging, Greene said. He noted that the Type Five clinic at the hospital is open until 10 p.m. to accommodate all the patients.