Tue | Nov 30, 2021

Cabinet approves construction of forensic pathology autopsy suite

Published:Saturday | May 8, 2021 | 12:15 AM
Fayval Williams
Fayval Williams

Cabinet has given approval for the construction of the Forensic Pathology Autopsy Suite in Kingston, and the Westmoreland Divisional Police Headquarters to be included in the Government’s Public Sector Investment Programme.

This was disclosed by Minister of Education, Youth and Information Fayval Williams, who noted that Cabinet has also given approval for the provision of fiscal support.

“The land for the construction of the two facilities is secured and the construction is expected to be completed in two years. The construction cost is expected to be about $555.9 million for the autopsy suite and $522 million for the divisional headquarters,” she said, while addressing a virtual post-Cabinet press briefing on Wednesday.

She noted that the projects, which are being undertaken by the Ministry of National Security, are expected to improve the security landscape for a safe and secure Jamaica.

In particular, the construction of the Forensic Pathology Autopsy Suite aims to increase the forensic capacity of the Jamaica Constabulary Force and reduce the backlog in criminal and other cases.

“The lack of an autopsy suite had resulted in several issues over the years, chief of which was the cost of outsourcing the services to privately-operated funeral homes. Over the past five years, it has cost the government $482.4 million for the storage of bodies,” she said.

In the meantime, Williams informed that Cabinet has approved the terms of the proposed Agreement for Cooperation in Education for Professional and Academic Support between Jamaica and the Republic of Cuba.

CUBAN SUPPORT

The recruitment of Cuban teachers to serve in the education system commenced in 1997, as there was a need for foreign language teachers in Jamaica.

Williams noted that under the proposed agreement, Cuban teachers would be contracted solely as the need arises, pointing out that the arrangement “would not be at a disadvantage to the equally-qualified Jamaican teachers who would be given priority in these instances”.

Since the inception of the programme, more than 370 Cuban teachers and professors known as specialists have rendered their services to teach in the country’s educational institutions in the subjects of Spanish, mathematics, physical education, agricultural science, chemistry, physics, biology and integrated science.