Health Minister Dr. Christopher Tufton, says he’s pushed the timeline to have the Cornwall Regional Hospital in St. James, fully renovated, to September this year.
Harmful fumes at the Hospital, labelled as a national crisis by the government last year, are again having an impact on the staff of the health facility.
Dr. Tufton says the previous timeline of April this year, is no longer possible, as new challenges are emerging at the hospital.
Dr. Tufton says he would prefer to destroy the facility and build a new one. But the Health Minister says the government does not have enough funds to do undertake that major project. He says it is to cost the government some 10-million US dollars to renovate facility. However, Dr Tufton says it could cost some 43-million dollars to build a facility half the size of the Cornwall Regional Hospital.
Meanwhile, the Nurses’ Association of Jamaica, has labeled the Health Ministry as ‘uncaring’ saying they weren’t told about the destruction of the vent system at the hospital which re-ignited complaints and complications caused by harmful fumes. But, Minister Tufton says the nurses were told about the renovation works.
Dr. Tufton is also commending the staff at the facility for what he calls their display of heroism. He says the hospital is still operating at 80-percent of its capacity despite the challenges.
And, the Health Minister says the government has secured the help of 43 additional medical personnel from Cuba to boost the available cadre of health professionals in public hospitals. He says the vast majority of them have been assigned to the Cornwall Regional Hospital.