Port Authority of Jamaica to assist with upgrade of Falmouth Hospital

Monday, January 22, 2018

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ST JAMES, Jamaica (JIS) — President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Port Authority of Jamaica, Professor Gordon Shirley, says the agency will be working closely with the Ministry of Health to upgrade the Falmouth Hospital in Trelawny.

Professor Shirley, who was speaking to business people and local stakeholders at the Falmouth cruise-ship pier on January 19, said the goal is to “have a first-class facility that we all can be proud of”.

He said a team from the authority has been working closely with 'Friends of the Falmouth Hospital' to upgrade the facility.

“What I have committed to today, is that beyond their individual efforts, the Port Authority will take on one of the major projects for the paediatrics group. In addition, we will be taking on the accident and emergency unit until it is completed,” Shirley said.

He emphasised that with the increased number of cruise vessels and also land-based visitors that Falmouth and, by extension, the parish of Trelawny have been receiving, it is extremely important that there be a quality health facility available to deal with emergencies.

“There are many kids who come in as guests here as well on our cruise ships. We want to make sure that should something happen, and they have to go to a hospital, that they will have a first-rate facility that they can go to. We plan to work with the Ministry of Health to ensure that we have that kind of quality hospital here in Falmouth,” Shirley said.

For his part, Regional Director of the Western Regional Health Authority, Dr Ken-Garfield Douglas, said economic growth has a direct correlation with healthcare and the changing demographics.

“The fact is, Falmouth's population has increased by about 20 per cent in the last five years. So, for example, the hospital that would have served 100 people five years ago, now has to serve 120 people,” Dr Douglas said.

He added that within the context of providing healthcare, “there is a very significant increase in the number of persons who are living in Falmouth”.

“There are now 4,000 additional homes in Falmouth when compared to five years ago. The economic growth that we are seeing has also produced that other correlation that we have to look at, such as the 3,500 visitors who come to Falmouth weekly,” he said.

Dr Douglas said he is confident everyone is on the same page in terms of the commitment towards providing quality healthcare at the Falmouth Hospital, adding that the PAJ must be commended “for all that they have been doing”.

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