Make CRH viable; sell it to UWI - Ogunsalu
With no end in sight to the ongoing woes of the Cornwall Regional Hospital (CRH), including the recent re-emergence of the noxious fumes emission, senior lecturer at the University of the West Indies (UWI) Dr Christopher Ogunsalu is urging the Government to sell the beleaguered hospital to the university.
According to Ogunsalu, the UWI has what it takes to make the Montego Bay-based Type A hospital into a cost-effective first-class teaching institution with the capacity to offer services of the quality now on offer at the University Hospital of the West Indies.
"The state of medical affairs at the Cornwall Regional Hospital is not only deplorable, but actually dangerous to all the patients and staff," said Ogunsalu in reference to the ongoing emission of noxious fumes, which has been plaguing the hospital for more than a year and which has caused a significant dislocation of services.
"It is for this reason that I am appealing to the minister of health to consider negotiation with a university, preferably the University of the West Indies, to take over Cornwall Regional Hospital, which, I believe, should be converted to a teaching hospital to facilitate the healthcare needs of the western region."
Ogunsalu suggested that the terms of the sale should include the immediate and timely repairs and re-equipping of the hospital. He said that the paid training by a more expansive population of undergraduate and postgraduate health professionals would not only improve the profile of the institution, but would also generate the income needed to run the hospital.
Ogunsalu asserted that if the UWI, either regionally or locally, was allowed to take over Cornwall Regional Hospital by way of purchase, the university would be able to admit an additional 350 medical students yearly from the United Kingdom, the United States of America, and Canada to be trained exclusively at the Montego Bay Campus and Cornwall Regional Hospital without crossing to the Mona Campus.
At a cost of US$50,000 per student, in the first year, the 350 students would generate approximately US$17.5 million and approximately US$100 million over five years, the university lecturer stated.