Western News

Rotary Club of Lucea renews call for dialysis machines at Noel Holmes Hospital

BY ANTHONY LEWIS
Observer West writer

Thursday, November 14, 2019

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LUCEA, Hanover — President of the Rotary Club of Lucea, Nerris Hawthorne, is calling on Health and Wellness Minister Dr Christopher Tufton to facilitate the equipping of Noel Holmes Hospital in Hanover with dialysis machines.

In 2015, then president of the club Winfield Murray proposed the setting up of a dialysis centre at the hospital as part of his legacy project during his term in office.

However, the club was unable to undertake the project because the hospital was not capable of hosting the centre and could not provide the specialised teams to operate the machines. Hence, the project was placed on hold.

“And so we started working for a good long while on putting dialysis machines in the Noel Holmes Hospital. But, Sir, [Dr Tufton] we couldn't do it because the hospital is not capable of that. Nor could they find the team to work the machines. And, this is something I am asking you for Hanover, for the people, we need dialysis machines in Noel Holmes Hospital,” Hawthorne urged.

“So, perhaps that might be our next project and we'll be coming to you, and we are not going to spare you. We are just going to come and pester you and pester you until we have dialysis machines in Noel Holmes Hospital.”

Hawthorne was addressing the official launch of the Rotary Club of Lucea and Great Shape! Inc's mobile dental clinic on the grounds of the Anglican Church Hall in Lucea last Thursday.

Following her address, Dr Tufton, who was in attendance at the launch, told the Jamaica Observer West that dialysis is a complicated procedure that requires a large budget.

“Dialysis is a very complicated procedure. It is not about just equipment alone. It is about the personnel to manage the process. It is about the ingoing supplies that are required and only some hospitals are capable by virtue of the type of hospital and the people that are in those hospitals,” he explained.

“So, it is not sufficient just to say we are able to provide the equipment and the equipment will address the problem. It requires a lot more and a big budget. The equipment is one cost, the budget associated with ongoing service provision is an entirely different thing. So, while I will agree that the market is underserved, it is going to require more planning to address not just equipment procurement, but the entire structure and organisation to deal with that.”

The health and wellness minister further explained that “Noel Holmes is a Type C hospital, unlike a Cornwall Regional Hospital which is a Type A, which was designed to accommodate dialysis as part of that process. So, I will have to find out [get advice] because I just heard about this situation, but I can immediately respond by saying, it is not as simple as securing a piece of equipment.”

The mobile clinic will improve health care access for thousands of Jamaicans by bringing free dental care to remote rural communities.


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