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There's room in the inn - Adventist Church puts plans on hold to help out CRH

Published:Tuesday | February 28, 2017 | 12:00 AMChristopher Thomas

Western Bureau:

The West Jamaica Conference of Seventh-day Adventists yesterday announced that it will be putting its own plans on hold to allow the problem-plagued Cornwall Regional Hospital (CRH) to use its conference centre to house some displaced departments.

The 400-bed Mt Salem-based hospital has been in crisis mode over the past two weeks as noxious fumes, emanating from faulty air-condition vents, have forced the closure of the institution's first three floors, several clinics, and departments, including accident and emergency.

Speaking during yesterday's media launch of the church's social intervention youth mentorship programme at the West Jamaica Conference, which is the adjoining property to the hospital, Pastor Glen Samuels, who heads the conference, said the decision to come to the hospital's assistance is in keeping with the church's mandate as a community-focused organisation.

"We have to push back the launch of our skills training centre programme for at least another six months, for the simple reason that our next-door neighbour, the CRH, has asked us for help," Samuels said. "We are a community service-based organisation, and with joy, we make our facilities available so that together we can be of service to our fellow men.

"Right in the room across from here, we have a section of the lab operating there since November last year," continued Samuels. "On the other side, we have the antenatal clinic operating in that section, and at the front, we have the physiotherapy department. And just yesterday, we gave permission for the use of the auditorium on the other side, and there will be multiple stations in there. The hospital will determine the number of desks, chairs, and cubicles to be used in there."


Pastors will give a hand, too


In addition to the use of their facilities, Samuels said the conference's pastors will be on hand to lend whatever assistance the hospital staff may require to function effectively.

"We have trained counsellors here. We have pastors who are always ready to assist, and we work closely with the directorship of the hospital should they need our assistance in providing counselling for any of the persons over here," added Samuels. "Our willingness [to assist] is guaranteed, but the specific nature of the help has to come by way of request from the other side."

The gesture of the church appears to fit perfectly with the Government's plans to effect the necessary repairs at the hospital. During a tour of the hospital last week, Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton said the required repairs at the hospital are expected to take between three and six months.

In addition to the West Jamaica Conference, makeshift tents have been erected on the hospital's compound to house some of the services.