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Cornwall Regional Hospital no longer in crisis mode - Tufton

Published:Friday | June 16, 2017 | 12:00 AMOkoye Henry
Dr. Christopher Tufton


Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton is reporting that his ministry has passed the crisis stage as it relates to the noxious fumes issue at the Cornwall Regional Hospital in St James and is now on schedule to execute the rehabilitation plan that will lead to a restoration of normalcy at the Type A health facility.

"The position is that we have passed the crisis and we have a plan and are executing it according to schedule," Tufton told The Gleaner during a visit to the Montego Bay-based hospital on Thursday. "We have a project manager in place, a consultant on board and a new project team. They are doing their technical assessment that will lead to a design for the procurement and installation for the new ventilation system."

According to the health minister, a part of the reform approach going forward is to have the "taxpayers' assets" better managed, noting that it was a lack of maintenance that led to the crisis and the crippling of services at the hospital.

"Crises are unexpected occurrences that will always confront us in life, but when we can predict based on actions taken or not, frankly speaking, it is a foolhardy and poor management for us to allow ourselves to get into situations where we really could have avoided it," explained Tufton.

"We in the public sector must come to terms with the importance of preserving and managing our public infrastructure that gives us value for money. Cornwall (Regional Hospital) is where it is today because we ignored that infrastructure and that is what threw us into a crisis to suffer."

Despite the crisis and the relocation of some of the hospital's operations, it continued to offer limited service to the community.

The West Jamaica Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, which is the neighbouring property to the hospital, is one location that is accommodating a number of clinics, as efforts to correct the air quality issues at the hospital intensify.