Sun | Aug 18, 2019

Letter of the Day | Progress at Cornwall Regional

Published:Monday | July 22, 2019 | 12:12 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

Every effort is being made to ensure the rehabilitation of the Cornwall Regional Hospital (CRH) in the best interest of the thousands of Jamaicans who rely on the facility for healthcare services and in the shortest possible time.

It is a known fact that the main building of the CRH was affected by mould, and as stated on previous occasions, the rehabilitation work to have the facility operating at its optimal level is complex – as has been verified by the Pan-American Health Organisation/World Health Organisation, and UN Ops in their independent assessments.

The rehabilitation work is taking longer than was originally projected, as we implemented the necessary systems, including the adoption of established environmental health and safety protocols to prevent cross-contamination and to guide the overall efforts of contractors on the ground.

Work being monitored

We also have in place an environmental health and safety team to monitor the progress of the work, including periodic air-quality testing, and have installed high efficiency particulate air filters to help preserve the air quality at the site.

This is together with the retention of the services of an occupational health and safety specialist by the Western Regional Health Authority to see staff members with any complaints. In the months since that service has been offered, we have not seen any uptake from staff and are doing a review to see what barriers exist and to have those addressed.

There is, too, an independent, multiskilled oversight committee for the rehabilitation of the hospital, set up last year, to ensure accountability and provide transparency to the Jamaican public. The committee is chaired by Professor Archibald McDonald, a trained surgeon, respected academic, and former principal of The University of the West Indies, who is available to answer questions on the project.

Meanwhile, the public will, shortly, be provided with a detailed update on the works, which so far include not only roof repairs and the replacement of leaking pipes that would have contributed to the problems earlier experienced at the facility, but also the construction of a new chimney system on the outside of the facility and the installation of a new venting system.

Dr Christopher Tufton, MP

Minister of Health & Wellness