Sat | Dec 3, 2016

Crime hurting Cornwall Regional Hospital's resources

Published:Thursday | February 5, 2015 | 12:00 AMChristopher Thomas

WESTERN BUREAU:

ANTHONY SMIKLE, vice-chief executive officer at Cornwall Regional Hospital, St James, has pleaded with citizens to help reduce instances of violent crime in Jamaica, as according to him, crime's after-effects are straining the health sector's resources.

"Crime not only hurts, but it costs, and at Cornwall Regional Hospital, it puts a tremendous burden on the Accident and Emergency Department," Smikle told

residents of Mount Salem, where the hospital is located, during a community meeting last week Thursday.

The meeting was held following a walk-through exercise in the community by high-ranking members of the Area One Police Division and other stakeholders, as part of efforts to build a rapport between the police and citizens.

In his brief address, Smikle told the residents that when victims of crime turn up at the hospital for treatment, it results in several other cases being piled up.

"It not only costs in that centre (Accident and Emergency Department), it permeates throughout the hospital, so when a surgeon has to stay up all night to deal with gunshot wounds, and then he has to see his elective cases, such as dealing with diabetes and other issues that will arise, it leads to longer waiting time," said Smikle. "So what I want you to take from this is that, yes, all of us know that crime hurts, but it also has a tremendous cost attached to it, in terms of the public health services.

"This community is a part of Cornwall Regional Hospital, and we want you to build that partnership, and in building that partnership, we ask that the incidents of crime be minimised," Smikle continued. "If it is that the incidents of crime were minimised, and not only in Montego Bay, then we would have an easier task."

Since the start of the year, the police in St James have recorded 10 murders in the division, with two of those having taken place in Mount Salem.

Last year, 159 murders were recorded for the parish, with 20 of those murders having occurred in Mount Salem.

christopher.thomas@gleanerjm.com