With the COVID-19 isolation wards at the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI) and the Princess Margaret Hospital now at their full capacities, the Western Regional Health Authority (WRHA) has indicated that the main public-health facilities in western Jamaica are willing to help ease the burden by accepting some patients.
Errol Greene, the WRHA’s regional director, told The Gleaner yesterday that the Cornwall Regional Hospital (CRH) in Montego Bay, St James; the Noel Holmes Hospital in Lucea, Hanover; the Savanna-la-Mar Public Hospital in Westmoreland; and the Falmouth Public Hospital in Trelawny are equipped with additional facilities for isolation and ventilation treatment.
“We are prepared to support the national call because we have prepared all four of our hospitals in the region. We have expanded our facilities to ensure that we have isolation wards that are ready for any such situation,” said Greene.
“We have increased our intensive-care areas, and we have put in additional beds and other additional facilities to accommodate isolation and to deal with persons who need ventilation. From what we are seeing, we really cannot let our guard down,” Greene added.
In May, the CRH was outfitted with 15 beds for potential COVID-19 patients, including four with ventilators, and an additional 12 beds were later supplied to the Type A hospital. In June, the Savanna-la-Mar Public Hospital got five patient monitors for COVID-19 treatment.
While he could not provide an updated figure on the number of beds at the hospitals under the WRHA’s management, Greene said that the region was willing to do its part in treating as many coronavirus cases as possible.
“ … While we might not be able to handle every single situation that comes from other sections of Jamaica, we have put things in place to, at least, respond favourably to the needs of the region,” said Greene.
There has been an exponential increase in COVID-19 cases in Kingston and St Andrew as well as St Thomas this month.
The Ministry of Health and Wellness yesterday reported that the COVID-19 wards at the St Andrew-based UHWI and the St Thomas-based Princess Margaret Hospital are at full capacity to house coronavirus patients. It said that protocols are in place to facilitate patient transfers if necessary.