Sat | Mar 6, 2021

Tufton brushes aside Guy’s $12b estimate for CRH’s restoration

Published:Saturday | January 16, 2021 | 7:17 AMChristopher Thomas/Gleaner Writer
Cornwall Regional Hospital in St James.
Cornwall Regional Hospital in St James.

WESTERN BUREAU:

Health and Wellness Minister Dr Christopher Tufton has dismissed a claim by his opposition counterpart, Dr Morais Guy, that the restoration of the Cornwall Regional Hospital (CRH) in Montego Bay will cost as much as J$12 billion.

“I am not sure where my parliamentary colleague would have gotten that figure, as that is not the figure I have been working with or that I have been informed of,” said Tufton following a tour of the Mt Salem-based hospital with representatives of the Western Regional Health Authority (WRHA) on Friday.

“It is far in excess of what my information is [for CRH’s restoration], but I am happy to speak to him and hear exactly how he came by that calculation.”

Tufton’s tour, which came one day after Guy and a team from the People’s National Party visited the facility, found that based on the scope of work which has been done at the problem-plagued hospital building to date, it would cost more than J$4 billion, which was estimated by the Dr Archibald McDonald-led oversight committee.

In responding to Guy’s criticisms, Tufton said that the progression of the CRH project should not be judged only on what is visible, as the rehabilitation cost often fluctuates based on the work in progress.

Tufton also said that he will be presenting a proposal to Cabinet next week to determine what step should be taken next to address the renovation at CRH.

“The CRH building and the approach to the renovation require a rethink, and my intention is to go to Cabinet in the next week or so with a proposal that will recognise the achievements and shortfalls and make a recommendation as to how we can improve the process,” he said.

The CRH has been undergoing restoration to correct a noxious fumes issue which arose in September 2016, resulting in several of the 10-floor facility’s departments being evacuated from its first three floors. The project is now scheduled for completion between late 2021 and early 2022.

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