September 26, 2020

Hostility to Jamaican Church hospital

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The Diocese of Jamaica and the Cayman Islands are alarmed at a claim their hospital’s land may be confiscated for other purposes.

The Nuttall Memorial Hospital, which is a privately run medical facility in Jamaica, is currently managed and operated under the ambit of the Diocese.

The hospital has been at its current location for about 100 years, and has been providing most of the services offered by other major hospitals.

Relocation of the hospital could mean less accessibility to its services by the public, and could consequentially put the institution out of business.

A source in their administration, which requested anonymity, explained the Nuttall Memorial Hospital’s maternity ward serves many pregnant women in the area, and offers other vital medical services.

Hospital board member and Bishop of Kingston, Right Reverend Robert McLean Thompson, said he is still not phased by the threats, and cannot foresee any such action by the Urban Development Corporation being achieved.

“That is just an argument for the press, a representative from the UDC made some comments, but they can say what they want to say.

“If the Government attempted such an action it would be greatly resisted.”

Under the current Jamaican Constitution, initiatives to develop property, not owned by the UDC, cannot be started before the land is legally acquired.

Unfortunately, for the hospital, plans are said to be afoot for the introduction of an act called the UDC Act, which, if passed, will abandon the obligation of the UDC to first purchase desired property before proceeding with plans for their development.

The Bishop added that the hospital is currently in the process of a five-year development plan, and the administration and operation of the facility is fully functional.

The Bishop also said the land is only the subject of the UDC’s contention because it is deemed to be commercially viable.

“It is prime real estate, because it is located in the heart of the city, and it is the only open land in the area.

“There is negotiation for the Army Base, to be relocated. They [UDC] believe it would enhance their business prospects if they can include the Nuttall Memorial Hospital land.” he said.

Mrs. Joy Douglas, General Manager of the UDC, is said to have made the statement, which was conveyed through the press.

In his interview with iNews, the Kingston Bishop also said that the statement made by the UDC Manager was condemned in a letter written by another church Bishop.

“The Right Reverend Howard Gregory, Bishop of Montego Bay, wrote a long piece to rebuke the comments made by the UDC representative.” said Bishop Thompson.

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