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Tufton: We’re building a brand new CRH

Published:Saturday | June 29, 2019 | 12:25 AMChristopher Thomas/Gleaner Writer


Health and Wellness Minister Dr Christopher Tufton yesterday said that the ongoing $3.5-billion restoration work at the Cornwall Regional Hospital (CRH) in Montego Bay must be seen as the construction of a brand-new hospital facility instead of rehabilitation.

“I think the narrative needs to change around what is happening here at CRH,” Tufton said as he addressed yesterday’s opening ceremony for the CRH’s stand-alone radiology department. “The reality is that I don’t even think we should say we’re rehabilitating CRH anymore, but what we should be saying is that we’re building a brand-new CRH because that’s what it amounts to.”

The radiology department, which was constructed at a cost of $45 million, boasts the latest digital technology and facilities for in-house X-rays, CT scanning, and ultrasound services.

“We are rebuilding a brand-new CRH, brick by brick and service by service. In doing so, we’re ultimately creating a much better and more efficient medical facility to serve the people of western Jamaica and beyond,” the minister added. “The only things that won’t be new, beyond the original stripped-down walls, are the dedicated staff members who have suffered through this period of trauma themselves to ensure that patients are served.”

The CRH was tossed into the spotlight in 2016 when several of its departments had to be relocated from the first three floors of the 10-storey building due to noxious fumes coming from a 20-year-old ventilation system.

Repair work is currently being done on the roof, and the ventilation system is being replaced.

The work, which the minister said is progressing well, is scheduled for completion by November.

Tufton also provided a brief update on the planned construction of the long-awaited Western Children’s Hospital on which construction was scheduled to start this month but is yet to begin.

“In another short while, I’ll be back here to officially break ground for the Western Children’s Hospital. We will officially break ground in very short order, and I intend to invite you back to see the breaking of ground to symbolise another new dawn here at CRH,” said Tufton.