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Cornwall Regional Hospital has more issues than first identified — Tufton

Friday, February 23, 2018

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Minister of Health Dr Christopher Tufton says that more issues have been identified at the Cornwall Regional Hospital than were identified in initial assessments; hence, works at the institution is taking longer than expected.

Dr Tufton, speaking to journalists in Enfield, St Mary about the current situation at the St James facility said a comprehensive overhaul of the hospital is currently being done; as a result, the renovation exercise is now taking longer than was anticipated, costing more than was anticipated and creating more inconvenience.

“Cornwall Regional Hospital has been a facility that has been neglected for a long time and over time, the lack of maintenance has caused things to become a lot more problematic. What appeared to have been one issue, which was a air quality issue caused by one thing identified — a vent system that was old and then recommissioned , wasn't properly cleaned — is now turning out to be multiple in terms of leaking roofs, moisture which is creating mould, and a boiler which has to be removed from underground with a chimney that is compromised and therefore creates more pollution,” Dr Tufton explained.

He said the ministry is responsive to the situation facing the hospital as best as possible.

“When there are issues we try to solve them. The difficulty is we can't abandon the building because there is nowhere else to but the patients,” he added.

Dr Tufton said that while services such as outpatient and other supporting services have been moved from the building, 200 beds remain in the 470-bed facility. Another 170-180 beds are located in the back in what was the nurses' accommodation area.

“We are going to have to try work through the process; it is very difficult for all concerned but I think we are making progress and it will take some time,” he added. Renae Dixon

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