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JAMAICA | Health Minister dismisses call to resign due to Cornwall Regional issue

Featured Embattled Health Minister Dr. Chrtistopher Tufton Embattled Health Minister Dr. Chrtistopher Tufton
KINGSTON, April 9, 2018 - Dismissing a call by People's National Party (PNP) to resign due to his handling of the Cornwall Regional Hospital issue, Health Minister Dr. Christopher Tufton says he views the call as a move to gain political mileage from an unfortunate situation. 
"I am still trying to determine why that call is necessary, except to sensationalise the issue which is, frankly speaking, unfortunate because in all of this, it is not about PNP or JLP - it's about the people on the ground; it's about the provision of critical services, which the hospital has been doing," he retorted, adding he would "just keep focused on the work at hand."
The call for Dr. Tufton to resign followed revelations on Thursday that a team of technical experts had recommended the evacuation of Cornwall Regional a year ago in light of air quality issues at the facility.
The PNP says the situation at the Cornwall Regional Hospital (CRH) has now become the worst crisis to have affected Jamaica’s health system,  and Dr. Tufton has placed  the health care of the people in the western belt of the island at risk.

"His subsequent attempt to use public relations to cover up his failure and mislead the nation is an affront to the entire Jamaica. Minister Tufton has sat on this problem and recommendation for over a year while the noxious fumes endangered the lives of staff and patients," the PNP said.

The PNP says Dr. Tufton, by his inaction and admission, has proven to all Jamaicans that he is incapable of handling such a sensitive and critical portfolio and cannot safeguard the health of staff and patients in the western region of the island.

According to the PNP's spokesman on health, Dr. Dayton Campbell, "Dr. Tufton failed to act after he was properly advised over a year ago by his ministry’s technical management team, which includes branch heads and the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) along with other legitimate and relevant health authorities and practitioners.

"He was informed that the fast deteriorating situation at the Cornwall Regional Hospital (CRH) required the drastic action of a complete shutdown of the facility.  This failure by the Minister to act demonstrates an unfortunate lack of understanding of the issues. The life-threatening implications of his inaction are now evident.  It firmly signals that he does not have the capacity to lead the health ministry, nor does he take the health of the nation serious.

Dr. Tufton's own technocrats in his ministry, after wide ranging consultations, recommended that the facility be closed, and he chose to ignore it. The devastating outcome of his decision is his own making and he must be prepared to face the consequences, Dr. Campbell declared.

  • Countries: Jamaica

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