Thursday 6 August, 2020

Phillips tables motion in the House calling for enquiry into CRH

Dr Peter Phillips, Opposition Leader

Dr Peter Phillips, Opposition Leader

The parliamentary Opposition continues to pile pressure on the Government over its handling of the noxious fumes and mold infestation issues that have forced the evacuation of the main multi-storey building at the Cornwall Regional Hospital (CRH) in St James.

Leader of the Opposition, Dr Peter Phillips on Tuesday tabled a motion in the House of Representatives calling for the Government to establish an independent Commission of Enquiry to probe the issues at the largest public hospital serving well over 400,000 residents in western Jamaica.

Dr Phillips, who has been calling for an enquiry into the state of affairs at the stricken facility, is proposing that the Commission:

i) Determine the extent to which the medical and non-medical staff of the hospital have had their health compromised.

ii) The extent to which family members and patients of the hospital may have been affected.

iii) The precise chemical or biological agents causing noxious fumes.

iv) The reasons for the delays in the decision to evacuate the main building.

The Opposition Leader is also proposing that members of the Commission are selected following recommendations of the membership of the professional organisations representing doctors and nurses.

He is also proposing that tertiary institutions such as the University of the West Indies, the University of Technology and Northern Caribbean University, among others, be consulted.

The opposition has been relentless in its criticism of the Government over its handling of the affairs at the CRH, in particular the long delay in closing the facility after it received professional advice to do so. Scores of staff have reported sick and it has emerged that tests conducted at the facility have found several cancer-causing substances.

The opposition has called for Health Minister, Dr Christopher Tufton, to resign.

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