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Minor Ops Reopen at UHWI amid health concerns

Published:Thursday | July 30, 2015 | 5:43 PM

THE MINOR operating theatres at the University Hospital of the West Indies were reopened on Monday amid concerns by some members of the medical staff over whether the area had been given a clean bill of health by the Public Health Department.

In June this year, the Public Health Department ordered the theatres closed following concerns about an air conditioning unit that was emitting substances that allegedly made some members of staff ill, as well as a mould count that was unacceptably high.

Mark Martin, manager of health services for Kingston and St Andrew, said he could not provide a response as to whether his department had given the go-ahead for the theatres to be reopened.

The Gleaner understands that medical staff in the minor operating theatres have been instructed to wear protective masks while working in the theatres. It is not clear whether patients are also fitted with masks.

The Gleaner contacted Dr Trevor McCartney, medical chief of staff at the hospital, last week, who said that the theatres would be reopened last weekend or the latest on Monday.

He said the theatres had gone through a process and "what is happening is that they are just putting the things back together and the theatres should be up and running by this weekend (last weekend)".

However, when asked why the Public Health Department had to move in and order the theatres closed, McCartney said he could not comment on the issue.

"I cannot comment on that, Sir. You would have to go to the chief executive officer. That is his authority. I make no public statement, Sir. That is the purview of the chief executive officer, Dr Cecil White, Sir."

The CEO could not be reached for comment.