Sun | Oct 17, 2021

WRHA to get buses for mental healthcare

Published:Friday | July 26, 2019 | 12:05 AMChristopher Thomas/Gleaner Writer


The Western Regional Health Authority (WRHA) is taking steps to provide more effective treatment for mental health patients.

In an interview with The Gleaner, Regional Director of the WRHA Errol Greene provided an update on several medical arrangements that fall under the purview of the regional body.

“We, at the WRHA, are looking to strengthen our mental health capacity, and we agree seeking now to buy a bus for each parish, which will assist in the mental health programme,” said Green. “Regarding the recruiting of more mental health personnel, I can’t speak specifically to that, but I know that we are putting in the level of support that is necessary to help the parishes.”

Greene was speaking against the background of comments made in May by Dr Diahann Dale, medical officer of health for Trelawny, who called for additional staff and a dedicated vehicle to adequately treat mentally ill patients in that parish.


Dale made the call following the gruesome chopping deaths of Martha Brae residents 56-year-old Jennifer Gordon and her five-year-old grandson, Levon Walker, who were hacked to death by Gordon’s mentally ill son, Leon Whyte.

Greene also provided an update on the ongoing efforts to install medical gas pipes at the Savanna-la-Mar Public Hospital in Westmoreland, and the Falmouth Public Hospital, in Trelawny. “For Savanna-la-Mar, it is 98 per cent complete as we just moved the oxygen tank there, and the only thing left to be done is to have the tank connected on the pipes. For Falmouth, the work on the operating theatre (to install the pipes) has been completed,” said Greene. The installation of the medical gas pipes at the two western hospitals follows a similar project that was undertaken at the St Ann’s Bay Regional Hospital in St Ann in 2016, which formed part of a $300-million upgrade at that facility.