Noel Holmes provides critical support
Public hospitals in Jamaica are placed into either one of three categories - A, B and C - depending on the services offered and size of the population they serve.
The Noel Holmes Hospital is classified as a Type C facility and, as such, offers limited services, such as in-patient and out-patient services in general medicine, surgery, child and maternity care, basic X-ray and laboratory services. Its multi-disciplinary counterpart in neighbouring Montego Bay, the Cornwall Regional Hospital, is the final referral point for Noel Holmes' patients.
"The Noel Holmes Hospital is not able to treat trauma cases effectively. It is quite evident," said head of the Hanover Emergency Medical Services, district officer Taleeni Francis. "Most trauma calls have to be sent to Cornwall Regional, and so the only thing that is basically done here is to stabilise the patient - most of the time. The facility is not equipped to deal with such cases, and so the more severe cases have to be re-routed to the Cornwall Regional Hospital.
"Lucea is our drop-off point in Hanover and when Noel Holmes Hospital (medical staff) stabilises the patient, in terms of IV (intra-venous) lines and help to better immobilise the patient, they still have to send that patient to Cornwall, so the time frame between that patient getting the right treatment (at Cornwall) can hinder his recovery process," Francis said.
Noel Holmes has been the recipient of major refurbishing within the last year, undertaken by the Ministry of Health, including the addition of 12 beds in the observation ward, six cots for the paediatric ward, re-equipping, and the addition of an isolation area.
The scope of the work included the erection of a perimeter fence, re-roofing of the accident and emergency area; installation of a guttering system; and renovation works, including painting, electrical and plumbing works.