CRH rehab under scrutiny

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Cornwall Regional Hospital

An oversight committee has been named by the Ministry of Health to oversee the rehabilitation of the problem-plagued Cornwall Regional Hospital in Montego Bay, St. James.

The five-member committee, which held its first meeting yesterday, is headed by principal of the University of the West Indies Mona, Professor Archibald McDonald, who is a trained surgeon.

According to the Ministry of Health, the multi-skilled, independent oversight committee for the rehabilitation project at the Cornwall Regional Hospital (CRH) is in a move to ensure accountability and provide transparency to the Jamaican public.

Other members of the committee include: Claudette Bryan, president of the St. James Lay Magistrates’ Association; Professor Ishenkumba Kahwa, renowned chemist and deputy principal of the UWI; Errol Alberga, architect and senior partner at Alberga Graham Jamaica, who has done work on the Kingston Public Hospital and Earl Richards, former president of the Airports Authority of Jamaica.

The committee is mandated to review information from the Ministry of Health/PanAmerican Health Organization on the progress of implementation of key project areas for the CRH.

They are also to:

Review reports on the delivery of clinical services at the CRH covering the on-site and off-site locations to which services have been relocated;

Provide recommendations to the Minister of Health on matters related to the execution of the project and advise on any concerns or developments; as well as

Monitor the compliance and progress of the project in relation to implementation of the key project areas and ensure that any required strategic changes are undertaken in a timely manner so that the project achieves its goals.

Mandated to meet monthly or as often as they deem necessary, the committee is, too, to:

Provide direction and assistance in resolving issues that may delay the timely execution of the project; and

Provide monthly updates on the project and the delivery of hospital services to the general public.

Committee Chairman McDonald in expressing confidence in the team said:

“I believe we have quite a competent team to provide oversight for what is clearly a very large project. Professor Kahwa and I have had quite a bit of experience in dealing with mould on the Mona campus and I believe that will serve the committee well. We have two architects, I believe, and there is Ms. Claudette Bryan,” he said.

“I am looking forward to doing this, what is considered a very important job. I am a surgeon by training and also a medical educator; our students are trained at Cornwall Regional Hospital. This is very dear to my heart,” the UWI principal said further.

In thanking the members for their service, Minister of Health Dr. Christopher Tufton said he was confident that they would fulfil their mandate, given their individual and collective experience.

The opposition Peoples National Party, PNP, has called for a commission of inquiry into the operations of the CRH, which has seen the relocation of almost all departments of the multi-disciplinary facility due to a mould contamination, but the government has shot down the call.

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