Noel Holmes Hospital to get back operating theatre
PLANS ARE in place by the Ministry of Health and Wellness to reopen the operating theatre facilities at the Noel Holmes Hospital in Lucea, Hanover, which has been out of use for more than 20 years.
Allaine Harvey, chairman of the Noel Holmes Hospital Management Committee told The Gleaner that notification has been passed on by Health and Wellness Minister Dr Christopher Tufton to the Western Regional Health Authority (WRHA), that among the priority projects for his ministry for the 2021-2022 financial year is the building out of the operating theatre at the Noel Holmes Hospital.
The need for such a facility in Hanover is quite obvious, as persons in the parish who need surgical procedures are generally referred to the Savanna-la-Mar Hospital in Westmoreland; or the Cornwall Regional Hospital in Montego Bay, St James, for a further referral to the Falmouth Hospital in Trelawny.
While the physical structure of the operating theatre at the Noel Holmes Hospital appears to be intact, it will require some amount of refurbishing. According to Harvey, preliminary work to re-establish the facility has already started with electrical upgrading, which is a critical component of the required build-out.
“As it relates to date and time (for the re-establishing of the operating theatre) I could not say, I did not get those specifics, but I know that it is something that is on the agenda. It has been discussed at the board level, and something Dr Tufton has said himself,” said Harvey.
“The discussions are ongoing as it relates to staffing, human resource, and all of that … those discussions are ongoing,” he added.
Dr Patrice Monthrope, the senior medical officer at the Noel Holmes Hospital, is quite elated on hearing the news that the operating theatre is to be restored to service, arguing that it is a much-needed facility in the parish.
“In the past, medical missions have visited the parish and several procedures were carried out with one improvised theatre at the Noel Holmes,” said Monthrope. “We did every type of surgery you could imagine, so can you imagine if we had proper theatre, two rooms with all the other facilities? We could help the community much more. We have the human resources and the persons who want to do more.”
Monthrope said he is anxiously looking forward to the re-establishing of an operating theatre, even if it does not become a reality before he leaves the hospital.