Tue | Jan 22, 2019

Set up bipartisan committee to fix Cornwall

Published:Saturday | May 12, 2018 | 12:00 AM


There have been calls from several quarters for a commission of enquiry regarding the Cornwall Regional Hospital, the latest being in a letter to the editor in The Gleaner dated May 10, 2018. Whenever I hear of commissions of enquiry, what comes to mind is the imagery of big bucks sprouting wings and depleting the Ministry of Finance's coffers, as well as the customary questionable aftermath that leaves much to be desired.

And yet, something must be done to clear the air of what went wrong and when so that we do not go down that avenue again of perennial neglect of our essential institutions cum customary finger-pointing. I'm sure that there is enough blame to go around to health officials of both political shades.

Rather than a commission that we can ill-afford at this time, it might be more expeditious - and inexpensive - to have a select committee comprising government and opposition members, as well as all other professional players concerned (eg., a former CMO, a PAHO representative/expert, present and former health ministers - since the deplorable situation spans both political parties - and representatives of the medical and nursing professions, especially those whose health was adversely affected).

Their task would be to produce a once-and-for-all diagnosis and prognosis of this important regional hospital. An academic from either the University of the West Indies or the University of Technology could, in the interest of the country, donate his/her services, free of cost, to head up this committee.

At present, the ordinary citizen is fed piecemeal, each day, bits and pieces about the situation, and depending on which side of the political fence one sits, such reports are either accepted or dismissed.

That is why we need to receive an impartial diagnosis of the sick hospital so that we can move forward. The problem is that all and sundry must be humble enough to accept the impartial diagnosis that would be proposed by this select committee.

We cannot be kept in the dark with questions left in limbo. Otherwise, we will never learn from the past so as to embrace a better tomorrow in terms of institutions being managed efficiently and effectively for the good of all, especially for those who cannot afford to seek medical assistance overseas.


Acting Pastor,

St Richard's Catholic Church