Uncertainty Surrounding Re-Opening of Cornwall Regional

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There’s now some uncertainty as to when the Cornwall Regional Hospital in St. James will be reopened to the public.

Chairman of the Cornwall Regional Hospital Rehabilitation Oversight Committee, Professor Archibald McDonald, has set August 2019 as an approximate timeline for completion of the works being undertaken at the type A facility.

However, Professor McDonald says even this date isn’t set in stone. He was speaking at a media briefing at the Health Ministry’s offices in New Kingston this afternoon.

Professor McDonald says an assessment of the full scope of work hasn’t yet been completed. He says this makes giving an estimated date for completion and reopening of the Cornwall Regional Hospital difficult.

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In March this year, Health Minister, Dr. Christopher Tufton, had given a date of November 2018 for the major works at the hospital to be finished.

But, Professor McDonald says the complexity of the project makes any timeline an approximation at best.

However, he says at the completion of the project, all issues at the hospital will be solved.

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The Cornwall Regional Hospital– which is the only type A facility in Western Jamaica–has been affected by noxious emissions from October 2016.

A complete evacuation of the building was done earlier this year as the full scope of the problem became apparent.

An estimated $2-billion was also given as the price tag for the full renovation of the building.

But, Permanent Secretary in the Health Ministry, Sancia Templer, says this figure is preliminary at best as the scope of work has changed.

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Meanwhile, Professor McDonald says a general contractor for the project hasn’t been selected as yet. However, the overall programme is being managed by Apec Consultants Ltd.

In the meantime, Opposition Spokesman on Health, Dr. Dayton Campbell, says the new timeline is more realistic and not political.

Dr. Campbell says the previous timeline given by Health Minister, Dr. Christopher Tufton, was given due to what the Opposition Spokesman is labeling as ”political expediency’.

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He’s also maintaining his call for more dialogue with the various stakeholders on the operations at the Cornwall Regional Hospital.

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