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I-Doc Concierge pitches plan to ease burden on CRH

Published:Friday | March 19, 2021 | 12:23 AMChristopher Thomas/Gleaner Writer


Dr Sherridene Lee, managing director of I-Doc Concierge Wellness Services Limited, has said that her organisation wants to use its medical service network to help redirect non-COVID-19 patients to appropriate private facilities in St James to ease the burden on the under-pressure Cornwall Regional Hospital (CRH) in Montego Bay.

In an address at Wednesday’s virtual monthly meeting of the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Lee said such an arrangement would reduce the risk of COVID-19-infected patients transmitting the virus to non-COVID-19 patients.

“We have partnered with various healthcare entities, and all these entities have agreed to give major discounts in terms of services, to be given to private entities, along with the public healthcare sector,” said Lee. “The aim is to redirect non-COVID patients to these private entities, where we would have different doctors located throughout Montego Bay or the St James region, and we will have a liaison from the public sector who would then assign different patients to know which doctors to go to.”

Lee believes that the suggested initiative would address issues such as overcrowding, the shortage of bed space, and some of the other issues now plaguing the operations at CRH, which is also undergoing repairs.

This healthcare network is still in the planning stage, Lee said.

“The plan that we have come up with is to create a healthcare network, at the centre of which is a tele-health support centre and an electronic medical records system. We are planning to have 10 to 15 general practitioners, and consultancies are to be added to that,” she explained. “With what is happening at the CRH, I would say this service is extremely critical.”

The CRH has had to convert its asthma treatment area and other sections of the hospital into COVID-19 wards since it reached 100 per cent of its bed-space capacity for those patients last month.

Up to Wednesday, St James had 3,416 COVID-19 cases out of Jamaica’s total of 33,366 since last March, making it the parish with the highest number of cases in western Jamaica and the region with the third-highest number of infections behind Kingston and St Andrew’s 9,495 and St Catherine’s 6,520.