I am writing a lot about health recently. Yes, environmental issues are still very much on my mind, but I will have to get back to them later.
However, please bear with me. This year, I am seeing a lot of linkages: between crime, violence, road crashes – and health. The year has not started well in respect of the first three; and they have a severe and direct impact on the fourth, our health services. Then there is the psychological trauma, which a Government Senator, Dr. Sapphire Longmore, referred to in Parliament this week. It is not just a personal trauma either; it is a collective one. “This is a mentally ill society,” she said, urging more funding for mental health. How much is happening in terms of victim support? The need must be overwhelming.
I am always aware that we only count the carnage on our roads in terms of deaths; I do not know how many were injured last year in road crashes, but the number must be in the thousands. Similarly, we only seem to focus on murders, and not those who have been injured in violent attacks, especially shootings. They (and their loved ones) may not be a “statistic,” but they suffer.
So, this new wing at the Sir John Golding Rehabilitation Centre (Mona Rehab for short) is desperately needed. There are so many young men and women suffering from the effects of road traffic crashes, crime and violence. The injuries are both physical and mental, and much of the pain never goes away. All we can do is support. This is a press release from the South East Regional Health Authority (SERHA):
Sir John Golding Rehabilitation Centre to Expand by 30 Beds
KINGSTON, Jamaica. February 6, 2020. The construction of a 30-bed wing at the Sir John Golding Rehabilitation Centre (SJGRC), is to commence this year, to adequately meet the demands of Jamaica, as the population has far outgrown the capacity of the services, resulting in a long waiting list of persons requiring rehabilitation care.
Speaking at the official launch of the building drive at the Centre, last month, Dr. Rory Dixon, Senior Medical Officer, SJGRC said that the new building is intended to increase accommodation for adults seeking rehabilitation care, particularly after spinal cord injury.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, who was also present at the launch, said that more support is needed for persons who require rehabilitative care. “There is nowhere in the world where health care is successful that does not involve partnership between the private and the public sector and other stakeholders,” he added.
Part funding to facilitate the expansion of the facility will be donated from an undisclosed percentage of profits from the new orthopaedic division – Bioprist Pharmaceuticals Orthopedic Solutions. Dr. Tufton, thanked Dr. Guna Muppuri, President and CEO of Indies Pharma Jamaica Limited and his team for assisting the Government of Jamaica to respond to the critical needs of the country. In his closing remarks, Dr. Tufton urged pedestrians to walk good, motor bike riders to wear a helmet, drivers to wear a seatbelt and obey the speed limits. He emphasized that taking these necessary safety measures, will significantly increase a person’s chance of survival.
The rehabilitative centre has a capacity for over 75 inpatients including children. Patients include persons with spinal cord injuries, cerebral palsy, congenital defects and other neurological conditions, as well as orthopaedic conditions (primarily lower limb amputations). Approximately 50 new cases of spinal cord injury are seen annually.