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Noel Holmes Hospital need help – Dr Tufton

Published:Friday | June 17, 2016 | 11:58 AMOkoye Henry
Dr Christopher Tufton

Western Bureau:

The shortage of manpower is having a telling impact on the healthcare service being offered at the Type C Noel Holmes Hospital in Lucea, Hanover, which sees approximately 2,000 patients each month in its accident and emergency department.

The situation came to official attention on Thursday during a tour of the health facility by Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton and officials from the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Western Regional Health Authority.

"The existing staff has had to be expanding their time, putting more into what they are doing and, frankly speaking, it does take a toll on them over time," said Tufton. Despite serving the entire parish of Hanover and sections of Westmoreland, the hospital is currently served by a mere four doctors, which is substantially less than what is required to adequately meet the demands of the hospital.


"Unfortunately, not many persons want to come into the rural parts to reside and we have to get some persons from overseas as is the case here," explained Tufton. "We're going to have to do some other things, like improve the living or the accommodations, to try and attract more persons here."

Despite being understaffed, Tufton said that he greatly values the effort of the facility's current staff members, who are quite resolute in serving the people of the parish under the challenging circumstances.

The minister noted that in addition to trying to boost the staff number, his ministry is hoping to have a number of ongoing projects at the facility completed in short order.

"There is the operating theatre that is on the drawing board that I want to get a move on quickly. There is a sewage-treatment facility that is almost complete as well as an administrative building that is more than halfway completed," stated Tufton.

"So we (the MOH) really have to do what we can to improve the staffing situation. The staff, when these shortages exist, works beyond the call of duty to try to do what they can, and that is one thing that we appreciate," he added. The health minister's tour of the hospital is a part of his stated objective to tour and examine the state of all hospitals and clinics across the country.