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Lucea’s deputy mayor calls for Noel Holmes Hospital upgrade

Published:Thursday | June 20, 2024 | 12:48 AMBryan Miller/Gleaner Writer
Dr Kaushal Singh
Dr Kaushal Singh
Andria Dehaney-Grant, deputy mayor of Lucea.
Andria Dehaney-Grant, deputy mayor of Lucea.


Deputy Mayor of Lucea and councillor for the Sandy Bay division in the Hanover Municipal Corporation (HMC), Andria Dehaney-Grant, has called for an upgrade of the Noel Holmes Hospital in Lucea from a Type C hospital.

According to Dehaney-Grant, it would be of great service to residents of the parish if the hospital were sufficiently staffed and equipped to prevent some transfers from the Hanover facility to Cornwall Regional Hospital (CRH) in Montego Bay, St James.

Her call came as the Medical Officer of Health for Hanover, Dr Kaushal Singh, tabled a report at the June meeting of the HMC, in which he noted that works were currently being carried out to improve infrastructure at some of the health centres within the parish. There are approximately 12 health centres strategically located across Hanover.

“I believe that as a parish we have to try and do something to improve our hospital, because it’s not doing our people any good when they have to journey over to Montego Bay. They are not getting much care there. They are suffering, so we have to find a way to see if we can get the necessary resources to build up our space,” Dehaney-Grant said.

She shared that some persons had been transferred from the Noel Holmes facility to CRH, having left a bed at Noel Holmes, ‘... and have to sit in a chair or wheelchair for hours or days and wait for treatment when they reach CRH.’

“I am saying that because, if any one of us gets sick here, this (Noel Holmes) is our public hospital that we will use. But if they have to send us over to the CRH, they may find a bed for us because of who we are, but in the meantime, the general public, our population is out there suffering,” the deputy mayor stated.

She appealed for improvements at Noel Holmes Hospital so that less cases are transferred, and stressed that a solution must be found to the problem of a general shortage of beds which exists at CRH.

Dr Singh shared the deputy mayor’s concerns about the situation at the Noel Holmes Hospital and the need for improvement or an upgrade. He assured the meeting that improvements would soon be carried out at the Noel Holmes Hospital, to allow that some types of cases would not need to be transferred to CRH. He said that there are several external factors which will determine such a situation.

He said changes within the health sector include an increase in the number of doctors available within the Hanover Health Department in recent years, with the numbers moving from four to 16 such professionals in family care.

“So there are some improvements happening, and we have to acknowledge that. And it is happening due to combined advocacy, as sometimes these sentiments are registered and the policymaking team or the reform team makes efforts to change things,” he argued.