Sun | Feb 25, 2024

CRH to offer 35 medical services on completion, says Fray

Published:Saturday | March 25, 2023 | 12:45 AMChristopher Thomas/Gleaner Writer
Merlene Lewin poses questions to government officials on Thursday during a town hall meeting to discuss the restoration work and other related matters at the Cornwall Regional Hospital in St James.
Merlene Lewin poses questions to government officials on Thursday during a town hall meeting to discuss the restoration work and other related matters at the Cornwall Regional Hospital in St James.

WESTERN BUREAU:

Dr Delroy Fray, the clinical coordinator for the Western Regional Health Authority (WRHA), says that when the ongoing restoration work at the Cornwall Regional Hospital (CRH) in St James is completed, the Type A health facility will provide 35 medical services, eight more than it previously did.

Addressing a town hall meeting about the CRH’s progression at the Montego Bay Cultural Centre in Sam Sharpe Square, Montego Bay, on Thursday, Fray said that the hospital, which formerly provided 27 different services, will add more to include an endoscopy suite, infectious disease specialty service, and a modern burn unit.

“Prior to closing down [in 2017], we had 27 specialty areas at the time, but with this refurbished hospital, we are going to run 35 specialties. We are going to get a renewed maternal high dependency unit, with 10 beds, and our internal medicine area will now have four high-dependency beds, plus we will have an improved and modernised burn unit, a new ophthalmology suite and operating theatre,” said Fray.

“We will have infectious disease specialty, pulmonology, endocrinology, and feto-maternal and reproductive endocrinology. We have a microbiologist on staff, we have a feto-maternal specialist who we sent for training at the university, and we are looking forward to getting a trained endocrinologist to join the service as well,” Fray added.

Another major service that the newly revamped CRH will offer is colonoscopy testing free of cost for public-health patients, in contrast to the significant sums which are often charged by private facilities for that service.

FREE COLONOSCOPY TESTING

“We will have an endoscopy suite in the operating theatre because every single person, once you are over 45 years of age, should have a colonoscopy done. In the private sector, the cost for a colonoscopy will run you about $65,000, but we want to put in a suite where our public health patients will be able to access colonoscopy services at the hospital free of cost,” Fray explained.

Additionally, medical education will be provided for prospective trainees at the CRH, which will also see an increase in its bed-space capacity from 450 beds to 670 beds.

The ongoing restoration work at the CRH, which is budgeted at $14.1 billion and is slated for completion by March 2025, has resulted in numerous hospital services being relocated to sections of the hospital grounds outside the main building. Some services have also been housed at the neighbouring West Jamaica Conference of Seventh-day Adventists and the Falmouth Public Hospital in Trelawny.

The issues at the CRH building came to national attention in 2017 when several departments had to be evacuated from the facility’s first three floors due to complaints of noxious fumes, which had previously come up in 2016.