Saturday 22 February, 2020

Gov't names oversight committee members for CRH rehab project

Health Minister, Dr Christopher Tufton

Health Minister, Dr Christopher Tufton

The Ministry of Health has named the members of an independent oversight committee for the rehabilitation project at the Cornwall Regional Hospital (CRH), in a move it said is to ensure accountability and provide transparency to the Jamaican public.

The five-member Committee is headed by academic and trained surgeon, Professor Archibald McDonald, principal of the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona.

The other members are 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; Earl Richards, civil engineer, a past president of the Jamaica Institution of Engineers and retired president of the Airports Authority of Jamaica; and Claudette Bryan, a member of industry from Western Jamaica and president of the St James Lay Magistrates Association.

The Government is working to complete a $2 billion restoration project at the hospital where major problems have emerged over time with noxious fumes emitting from an old and poorly maintained ventilation system at the facility

The Committee is mandated to review information from the Ministry of Health/Programme Management Office 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.

“I am very happy to serve as chairman of the Committee,” noted McDonald, following what was the introductory meeting of the Committee, held at the Ministry of Health on Tuesday.

“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 an architect, a civil engineer, and there is Ms Claudette Bryan,” he said, adding “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.” 

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

The Committee members, who are to be provided with administrative support from the Ministry of Health, will be paid travelling and subsistence, in accordance with the relevant Government of Jamaica guidelines. The Ministry will also cover the cost of hotel accommodation in Montego Bay to facilitate the visits approved by the Chairman.

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