Tue | Sep 17, 2019

Ground to be broken for western children’s hospital soon

Published:Tuesday | September 10, 2019 | 12:16 AMChristopher Thomas/Gleaner Writer

WESTERN BUREAU:

Health and Wellness Minister Dr Christopher Tufton has said that ground is to be broken within weeks for the new Chinese-financed paediatric hospital to be built on the grounds of Cornwall Regional Hospital (CRH) in Montego Bay, St James.

He made the announcement last Friday during a press briefing at the St James Health Department in Montego Bay, prior to vector-control inspection activities in Norwood and Flankers in St James.

“On the Chinese-financed hospital, we’ll have final approval of the designs for the new facility at the level of the parish council (municipal corporation) in short order, and I’m hoping we’ll officially break ground as early as next month – if not before. I’m encouraged that once the work starts, we’ll continue straight through to completion,” said Tufton.

“There is a team on site from China, and they have set up their administrative facilities and have started to clear sections of the compound, and once you get there, you’ll see their presence visibly. Work is happening there, but the official breaking of ground will happen in short order,” added Tufton.

The hospital, which will have space for 220 beds, is scheduled for completion by May 2021. The seven-storey facility will also have an in-house pharmacy, an emergency room, a dialysis room, a food court, and accommodation for workers.

Tufton also gave a brief update on the ongoing restoration work at CRH ahead of a detailed report to be produced by the hospital’s oversight committee later this month.

“I had a meeting with the Western Regional Health Authority and the hospital staff, getting a brief on the technical work on the building, as well as the services that are provided. There are two major contractors that are doing a new roof and addressing the gutting of floors to reinstall plumbing, electrics, and partitions, to clear out the original internals of the building, and that’s going on as we speak,” said Tufton.

“The staff at the hospital continues to provide all the critical services required by the people of St James and its environs. There’s the radiology unit, emergency, surgery, and, of course, we have inpatient care,” stated Tufton.

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