Patients removed from CRH’s main building
The Cornwall Regional Hospital (CRH) in Montego Bay was buzzing with activities yesterday as the hospital's administration intensified its bid to move in-house patients from the main building, which is deemed unsafe as a result of the ongoing impact of noxious fumes on the facility.
"We hope to move out all of the patients during the course of today," Dr Michael Fray, clinical coordinator for the 400-bed Type A hospital, said yesterday. "The surgical patients will be transferred to the Falmouth Hospital, while the delivery suit will be moved to a newly retrofitted area here at CRH. The retrofitted area will also house antenatal patients who are not yet able to go home," he added.
With urgency at a premium to cease activities on the hospital's main building, members of the Jamaica Defence Force were called in to assist with the moving of surgical beds to the Falmouth Hospital in Trelawny, where a new 35-bed facility was recently created to house the surgical patients from the health facility in Montego Bay
On Thursday, health minister Dr Christopher Tufton toured the Falmouth Hospital to get a first-hand look at the preparations that were being made to house the patients who were to be transferred there. After his tour, he gave the preparations the thumbs up, saying it was ready to house the additional patients.
While controversy continues to swirl around whether all operations on the main building at the regional hospital should cease, Fray yesterday said that the institution's dialysis unit and the radiology unit, which are both non-residential operations, would continue to operate out of the main building.
Patients fear effect of fumes
Despite the relocation of patients from the main building of the Cornwall Regional Hospital yesterday, emergency cases will still be handled on the compound, albeit out of the Mt Salem Health Clinic. However, patients utilising the clinic are doing so with some amount of trepidation as some are somewhat worried about their safety.
"I wish I did not have to come over here at all because there is so little information about this fumes thing and what it can do to people," said John Isaacs, who attended the clinic yesterday. "We could well be getting some bad fumes, which could affect us in the future."
After the initial outbreak of toxic fumes at the Mt Salem-based hospital, several of its services were relocated to makeshift tents on the compound as well as to the nearby West Jamaica Conference Centre. Initially, it was projected that the air-quality issue would be resolved by the end of the year so that the hospital could return to normalcy.