Tufton, Charles reassure community about status of Chapelton Hospital
Dr Christopher Tufton
The Chapelton Community Hospital in North Central Clarendon is undergoing repairs, which should be completed in another six months.
Residents of the communities served by the hospital were given an opportunity to voice their concerns about the partial closure of the facility at a town hall meeting held at Clarendon College on December 19.
Health Minister, Dr Christopher Tufton, and House Speaker and Member of Parliament for the area, Pearnel Charles, were the main speakers at the meeting.
Dr Tufton told the audience that the hospital needed repairs, as it is a very old building.
A frontal view of a section of the Chapelton Community Hospital in North Central Clarendon.
“It is quite clear that you can’t repair it in any substantial way with certain types of activities going on. You would be putting the patients and workers at risk,” he indicated.
He pointed out that the roof is being replaced, and persons would be at great risk during that exercise.
“Between the noise and dust, there is no way you could keep patients in that situation. I wouldn’t want it for myself or anyone, hence the need to downscale and get it right,” said Dr Tufton.
The minister said the contractor has been told very strongly that he should move quickly to ensure that the work is completed within time, specification and budget.
“So far, based on what I have seen, the contractor is moving at a fairly decent pace,” he added.
Dr Tufton noted that during the six-month repair period, citizens would have access to an ambulance for emergency cases, especially at nights.
Meanwhile, he said $50 million would be spent on the May Pen Hospital in the parish to repair the roof, and to do other infrastructural works.
“We are doing a general assessment of the hospital to upgrade it to a Type B, and the contract has already been signed and pre-construction work is now being done. It needs to be expanded, and space is now being created in some areas of the hospital to expand the bed count. The hospital will then be able to respond more efficiently to the needs of the citizens,” Dr Tufton told the meeting.
For his part, Charles assured the audience that the hospital would not be permanently closed.
The meeting was also addressed by Chairman of the Southern Regional Health Authority, Wayne Chen.