Old shop operated as rehab centre ordered closed

Old shop operated as rehab centre ordered closed

BY ANTHONY LEWIS
Observer writer
editorial@jamaicaobserver.com

Saturday, December 05, 2020

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LUCEA, Hanover – The Hanover Health Department has ordered the closure of an old shop in Chigwell, which is being used as a rehabilitation centre.

The facility is one of three branches of Chance Rehabilitation Centre. Another is also in Chigwell and the other in Rejoin.

At last month's regular monthly general meeting of the Hanover Municipal Corporation, it was disclosed there were 41 residents in a two-bedroom house in Chigwell, 10 in an old shop, also in Chigwell, and 17 on the ground floor of a three-storey building with other tenants in the nearby community of Rejoin, all operated by Chance Rehabilitation Centre.

On Thursday, Medical Officer of Health for Hanover Dr Kaushal Singh told the Jamaica Observer that the old shop in Chigwell was served with an immediate closure notice a day earlier.

“The recommendation is that: number one, immediate closure for that facility and number two is to pursue legal action,” Dr Singh said.

The remaining two locations, he said, have been given time to undertake improvement works.

“They [operators] were advised that after meeting the standards they need to apply for registration from the Ministry [of Health and Wellness] to operate,” Dr Singh added.

Executive director at Chance Rehabilitation Centre Natalie Reid told the Observer recently that the issue with the facility was also of concern to her, adding that the company was trying to find somewhere suitable to house the residents.

“I don't blame anybody for the uproar about it. It was just an emergency situation…I am not going to rent anybody skyscraper for them to mash down the chandeliers and put me in problem,” argued Reid.

“What we need is somewhere for us to start building. Our vision is to have a two-man cabin where it is two persons to a facility,” said the executive director.

Meanwhile, Dr Calvin Young, a registered psychologist, in a letter to the Observer recently, asserted that the institution “is not by any local or international standards, a treatment facility.

“Anyone who allows [his/her] loved ones to be placed in the care of this facility [is taking] a dangerous chance they will physically or psychologically survive the ordeal, an ordeal that will be due to chance,” Dr Young argued.

Dr Young, who claims that he had seen patients from the centre, stated that he had referred the institution and its operator to the Ministry of Health and Wellness a few years ago, but no action had been taken.

“I am not the only or the first mental health professional in Jamaica to refer Chance and its operators to the authorities over the years to no avail,” said Dr Young, asserting that “this is an urgent matter of life and death”.

The Observer did not get a response to queries made to the technical director at the Western Regional Health Authority, Errol Greene, about the operations of the facility.

In the meantime, Dr Young pointed out that a facility such as the Chance Rehabilitation Centre is needed in the country, once properly regulated and operated.

“... It is absolutely necessary. It is just that most of the organisations down there, staff [members], are not properly trained and they won't bring people in, those who are properly trained, to help them; you don't have professionals there, it is not a treatment facility,” stated Dr Young.


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