Following the recent injection of $50 million to do upgrading work at Falmouth Hospital in Trelawny, businessman Kenneth Grant, chairman of the hospital's board of management, is calling for the institution to be upgraded from a Type C to a Type B facility.
"With the hospital moving from a 85-bed unit to a 140-bed unit, and with the new operating theatres, which were to come on stream for 2007 Cricket World Cup, now up and running, I believe an upgrade is in order," said Grant, who pointed out that the hospital has taken on increased significance with the Cornwall Regional Hospital, in Montego Bay, now experiencing major air-quality challenges.
The call by the hospital's chairman has found favour with Dr Ken-Garfield Douglas, who heads the Western Regional Health Authority (WRHA). According to Douglas, the hospital has basically outgrown its Type C status.
"The facilities are in place for a Type B upgrade. What is needed is the staff complement," said Douglas. "This kind of hospital caters to all the major disciplines and all the specialities. I have lobbied medical personnel who are prepared to come and work in Falmouth once the hospital is upgraded."
The upgrading of the sewerage system, which has been a long-standing concern for Grant, has made the chairman quite happy, and he is looking forward to have the new system up and running.
"I am pleased to say that $12 million has been allocated to upgrade the system. This work is expected to be completed in the shortest possible time," said Grant. "With a big increase in the number of patients, the existing sewerage system would not have been adequate."
According to Grant, the hospital has also been benefiting from the continued support of external stakeholders who have been making an invaluable contribution.
"The Petroleum Company of Jamaica has installed LED lighting throughout the compound," said Grant, "and the Sugar Transformation Unit has retrofitted the doors and windows, which has transformed the hospital, making it suitable for Type B designation."