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Declare state of emergency at Cornwall Regional – Guy

Published:Saturday | December 21, 2019 | 12:16 AM


Opposition Spokesman Dr Morais Guy is calling on Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton to treat the ongoing restoration work at Cornwall Regional Hospital (CRH) in St James as a crisis so that it can benefit from the Government’s emergency procurement guidelines.

Guy made the call following yesterday’s tour of the Mt Salem-based Type A hospital by a team of medical doctors aligned to the People’s National Party (PNP) and representatives from the Western Regional Health Authority (WRH).

“We think that the CRH’s restoration should have been declared an emergency, when you consider the health and wellness of the people in western Jamaica, and even the northern coast of the island,” Guy told journalists following the tour.

“The minister (Tufton) needs to take a submission to the Cabinet to say that the CRH needs to be declared an emergency, and we can utilise the emergency procurement guidelines to get certain things done. The Government has utilised it before in other areas where it was not necessarily an emergency,” added Guy.

The CRH’s restoration work came in the aftermath of the facility being affected by noxious fumes from a faulty ventilation system, which resulted in major dislocation, including the relocation of several departments. The issue came to national attention in September 2016 after the fumes forced an evacuation of the hospital’s first three floors.

Professor Archibald McDonald, the chairman of the independent oversight committee monitoring the CRH’s restoration work, recently projected that restoration work be completed by next December.

Former Opposition Spokesman on Health Dr Dayton Campbell, who was part of the tour, accused Tufton of not taking the emergency procurement route because he wanted to maintain a good public-relations image.