Fri | Aug 7, 2020

Falmouth Hospital shedding dinosaur image

Published:Friday | July 10, 2020 | 12:09 AMLeon Jackson/Gleaner Writer
Dr Leighton Perrins.
Dr Leighton Perrins.

Western Bureau:

While not revelling in the misadventure that has befallen the Cornwall Regional Hospital in Montego Bay, which is struggling to rebound from a debilitating noxious-fumes crisis, the Falmouth Hospital in Trelawny, which has taken on increased responsibilities, is believed to be steadily outgrowing its Type C status.

According to Dr Leighton Perrins, the senior medical officer at the hospital, the medical facility is heading in the right direction. The hospital was created on 13 acres of land in 1954 as a 55-bed facility and later upgraded in 2007 as part of the requirements for Falmouth to host aspects of the 2007 ICC Cricket World Cup in the Caribbean.

Moving on from past issues

“The hospital is moving out of its dinosaur-like operation. We are now staffed with a complement of 18 doctors, five of which are Cubans. A paediatrician is scheduled to be assigned to the staff. Most recently, Friends of Falmouth Hospital was instrumental in acquiring a $14 million archiving system and the sewage system has benefited from upgrading work valued at $10 million,” said Perrins.

With the upgrading work done in recent times and the improvement to the medical staff, Perrins is confident that the hospital is now ready to move from some of the contentious issues of the recent past.

“Issues such as the long waiting hours at the clinic and at the Accident and Emergency Department should be greatly reduced. The overall service has been greatly improved,” said Perrins.

Having masterfully handled the extra responsibility brought on by the issues at CRH, businessman Kenneth Grant, chairman of the hospital’s board of management, does not want to see the hospital going back to its Type C status when the Montego Bay Type A hospital is restored to its former glory.

“For the three years since I became the chairman, I have been advocating for a change in the hospital’s designation from Type C to Type B,” said Grant. “I believe that time is now. A Type B Hospital is where patients can acquire healthcare in at least five basic specialties.”

Grant, who is also president of the Trelawny Lay Magistrates Association, said Trelawny is currently experiencing a spike in its population, hence the need for a Type B hospital.

“There is an explosion in housing in the parish,” said Grant. “At one time, there were 75,000 people living in the parish but we have long moved passed that number. In addition, more people are coming to live in the parish as they seek employment opportunities. The only hospital in the parish must, therefore, be prepared to offer first-class service.”