Sun | Dec 17, 2017

New cancer treatment centre opens at CRH

Published:Thursday | November 30, 2017 | 12:04 AMChristopher Thomas
From left: Health Minister Dr. Christopher Tufton; National Health Fund (NHF) deputy chairman Dr Dana Morris Dixon; NHF chief executive officer Everton Anderson; Vincent Hosang, founder of the Vincent Hosang Family Foundation; and Dr. Praveen Kumar Sharma, radiation oncologist at the Cornwall Regional Hospital (CRH), take part in a ribbon-cutting exercise along with other stakeholders to mark the official opening of the CRH's new cancer treatment centre on Friday, November 24. Also pictured are Mayor of Montego Bay, Homer Davis (back row, centre), and former Health Minister Dr. Fenton Ferguson (back row, right).

WESTERN BUREAU:

Cancer patients in western Jamaica will now have closer treatment at hand with the latest technology on hand to treat the deadly disease, following the recent opening of a new cancer treatment centre at the Cornwall Regional Hospital (CRH) in Montego Bay.

The new facility was constructed and outfitted over a two-year-period at a cost of US$15 million (J$1,888,964,700), through a partnership with the National Health Fund, the Tourism Enhancement Fund, the Vincent Hosang Family Foundation, and the CHASE Fund.

The CRH's new cancer centre is one of two such facilities to be built in Jamaica, with the other to be built at the St Joseph Hospital in Kingston.

The facility is outfitted with a Linear Accelerator machine, which customises high-energy x-rays to conform to a tumour's shape and destroy cancer cells while sparing the surrounding normal tissue, and a brachytherapy machine, which is used to perform internal radiotherapy for cancer treatment. The hospital's existing Radiotherapy Department has also been expanded to include a reception area and a control room.

Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton, in his address at the opening ceremony, said that there must be an ongoing process in the development and upgrading of health care.

"Today is a momentous event, but it is part of a process, and for that process to be effective, it has to involve an examination of what is, an agreement of what should be, and a commitment to make it happen, using all the necessary resources that we can," said Tufton.

"It is an examination of technologies that existed before, which have outlived their useful purpose, and as a consequence we must now look to new technologies."

christopher.thomas@gleanerjm.com