A father's cry for better equipment at Cornwall Regional
Janet Silvera, Senior Gleaner Writer
WESTERN BUREAU:MONTEGO BAY inbond merchant, Indru Dadlani, wants Government to consider a substantial contribution annually from the coffers of the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) to be donated to improving medical equipment at the Cornwall Regional Hospital (CRH).
Dadlani, whose son, Dinesh, died in March this year, said his younger child could have had a fighting chance if the endoscopic machine at the western regional medical facility was working.
He bolstered his argument with the fact that last year, a friend and a visitor to the island died days after being hit by a car in the Rose Hall area, "like my son, he was rushed to the Cornwall Regional and the IT scan machine was not working. He passed away a few days later".
The Montego Bay businessman was presenting a cheque in the amount $399,000 to the chief executive officer at CRH when he made the statements. The money was collected from friends and family of Dinesh Dadlani during his thanksgiving service.
"The irony of it all is that we are blessed with great doctors. However, they need the assistance of these lifesaving machines," said Dadlani, adding that he had learnt so much since the loss of his son.
His appeal is directed specifically to Minister of Tourism and Entertainment Dr Wykeham McNeill and chairman of the TEF Senator Noel Sloley.
"I am more than convinced that there is no other medical facility in the county of Cornwall that can handle any serious emergency and this is why we all must support Cornwall Regional Hospital, which is unique because it is located, unlike any other major hospital in Jamaica, in the heart of the tourism belt," said Dadlani, who has served the sector for the last 50 years.
The CRH serves patients from Falmouth, Trelawny, to Negril, Westmoreland, and caters to over 85 per cent of the island's tourism industry.
"One can clearly see the massive number of hotels, our first-class international airport and cruise-ship ports, but God forbid if there is a major catastrophe," he lamented, underscoring the fact that CRH must be equipped to handle those types of emergencies.
"For both our local Jamaicans and visiting tourists alike, all our lifesaving machines must be working and maintained at all times," he argued.
Dadlani cautioned that an air ambulance takes up to four hours to arrive in Jamaica because it has to clear all US formalities. "Even with those who can afford to bring in an air ambulance, they will never accept any patient unless the patient is fully stabilised to travel so it is most necessary for our tourists and for our local Jamaicans to have our own CRH lifesaving machines fully functional at all times."
He reiterated that tourism was everyone's business, and the time has come for McNeill and the TEF to earmark an annual substantial contribution to the Ministry of Health.