News from the OPM

Ministry of Health Continues Relocation of Services at the Cornwall Regional Hospital

The Ministry of Health has continued to relocate services from the Cornwall Regional Hospital’s (CRH) main hospital building as the organization seeks to maintain access to health care for residents in Western Jamaica. The aim is to scale down operations at the main CRH building which will only be utilized for emergency services and other services such as Radiology which cannot readily be relocated until renovation and cleaning can be completed. This strategy aims to safeguard the health of staff and patients and ensure continuity of care to residents in the area.

Many services have already been relocated to alternative facilities at nearby locations in recent weeks while others have been relocated to alternative premises and temporary facilities on the Hospital compound. The Ministry is also relocating some clinical services to nearby hospitals. This approach will continue over the next few weeks. As of today, March 2, 2017, approximately 50 percent of services previously offered at CRH have been relocated.

Some of the earlier action included the relocation of:

  • Accident and Emergency, triage and management of patients with ‘green’ and ‘yellow’ tickets to the Mt. Salem Health Center
  • Medical and Surgical Clinics and Physiotherapy to West Jamaica Conference Centre,
  • Maternal and Child Health to Emmanuel Chapel, Vernon’s Drive, Mt Salem
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology clinics to the Barnet Clinic off Cottage Road (the Clock) and
  • Mental Health Services to the Holy Trinity Church, Miriam Way.

Additional major relocations will take place during the course of next week when preparatory work to facilitate these further actions will be completed. Additional space has been provided by the Adventist Church at the Western Jamaica Conference Center which is now being renovated to house additional clinics. In terms of operating theatre services the following actions are being taken:

  • Fifth floor at CRH is to be isolated and cleaned to reestablish operating theatre and intensive care services to the western region of island in the shortest possible time. Alternate access to these areas is being created to minimize exposure to affected areas.
  • Falmouth Hospital operating theatre suite to be commissioned immediately to facilitate elective surgeries.
  • New Operating theatres at Falmouth hospital to be opened in approximately two weeks to facilitate elective and urgent surgeries.
  • University Hospital of the West Indies to facilitate surgeries for critically ill neurosurgery patients.
  • Orthopedic surgeries to be facilitated at Savanna La Mar hospital.

The single largest relocation activity will involve the movement of In Patients at the CRH to other buildings on the hospital premises. A total of two Hundred (200) bed capacity has been identified on two buildings on the premises to house patients and the necessary renovations to accommodate this move will commence shortly. In addition, approximately thirty (30) social cases are to be relocated to alternative accommodation.

Other major activities to be undertaken in the coming weeks include the erection of two tents that are being provided by the Pan American Health organization (PAHO) which will provide additional space for outpatient clinics to include Psychiatry, Orthopedics, Urology and Dermatology Clinics.

The Minister of Health will establish an office at the Western Regional Health Authority with immediate effect to manage the relocation activities and to lend support to the Hospital’s management. The office will be staffed by senior personnel from the Ministry under the direction of the Chief Medical Officer. The Ministry continues to receive support from PAHO in its efforts to address the challenges. A team from PAHO is currently on the ground in Montego Bay. In addition a PAHO expert on air quality is expected in the island next week.

Persons who require additional information can call the Patient Care Representative line (684-4041).  The Ministry continues to communicate with our doctors and nurses of the facility who have carried out their duties commendably. We ask the public’s patience in this challenging period as we work to fix the issues in the shortest possible time.

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Contact:    Communications Unit-OPM

Tel:   926-0244, 927-4101        Email:  opmnews@opm.gov.jm/officeoftheprimeministernews@gmail.com

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