Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham delivers the keynote address. (BIS Photo/Sharon Turner)
Hubert A. Ingraham
Accident & Emergency Urgent Centre
Theatre & Day Surgical Unit
Ministry of Health;
and other Members of the Board of the Public Hospitals Authority;
Public Hospitals Authority;
Heads of Government
Committee and Staff of the Rand Memorial Hospital;
from Bruce LaFleur & Associates, Albacore Construction Ltd, and
we celebrate a significant milestone in the advancement of quality of
life for the people of Grand Bahama and the Northern Bahamas including
Abaco and Bimini. This milestone is a part of my Government’s
plan for social development generally, and for the expansion of quality
and accessibility to health care for all Bahamians.
For some time, one of the most
pressing healthcare needs for the people of Grand Bahama and the Northern
Bahamas was to significantly enhance our second city’s major healthcare
facility. Indeed, the developmental needs of the Northern Bahamas
long ago outstripped the aging physical plant of the Rand Memorial Hospital.
Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham greets Public Hospitals Authority managing director Herbert Brown upon the Prime Minister's arrival to Freeport to officially open the new multimillion dollar Accident/Emergency Urgent Care Centre and Operating Theatre at the Rand Memorial Hospital. (BIS Photo/Sharon Turner)
my Government’s second term in Office and while Dr. Ronald Knowles
was Minister of Health, we commissioned an extensive review of our national
health care facilities including the Rand Memorial Hospital here in
Freeport. We received that Report, referred to within the Public
Sector as the Dorsette Report, in December, 1999.
Dorrette Report, which my Government accepted, proposed that the health
care facilities at the Rand Memorial Hospital be redeveloped and upgraded
over a 7 to 10 year period. We commenced planning toward that end but
we were not returned to office in 2002.
absence from Government for five years had consequences for Grand Bahama.
The recommendations of the Dorrette Report were shelved for 5 years
-- notwithstanding that the Minister of Health in the Government which
replaced us was a resident of Grand Bahama.
our return to office we took up where we had left off in May 2002.
And so what we are commissioning today is a part of what we proposed
and planned to do for you some 10 years ago.
new facilities are critical to our plan to provide the conditions for
a healthier Grand Bahama. We were aware that there was
preference in Grand Bahama for the construction of a completely new
minding our purse and the sound advice proffered in the Dorsette Report,
we took into account advantages to be gained from the redevelopment
of the present site, notably the continuity of service, and significant
savings in capital costs, when compared to a one-time replacement building
on a new site.
PIONEERS - Pictured are the first physicians to practice at the Rand Memorial Hospital upon its conception over 40 years ago. (BIS Photo/Sharon Turner)
accepted also, advice that the Accident and Emergency Department and
Out-patient Clinic should be the first stage of redevelopment.
This would form a hub for the redevelopment of other Out-patient and
Diagnostic and Treatment departments followed by the renovations to
the vacated areas which would in turn increase the Paediatrics area
and surgical and medical beds.
new, state-of-the-art facilities comprises approximately 16,720 square
feet. They encompass: a modernized, fully-equipped state-of-the-art
Accident and Emergency(A&E) Urgent Care Centre; two major theatres
and a minor theatre; an endoscopy room and a central sterile supplies
A & E Urgent Care Centre has been expanded from 3900 sq. ft. to
8,200 sq. ft. In essence, it has doubled in size. The new facility will
Trauma Bay to accommodate
two (2) critically ill patients;
Six (6) bedded Treatment
Bay with one (1) specially designed to accommodate required isolation;
Five (5) Examination
rooms including one (1) for gynaecological cases;
Asthma Bay to accommodate
four (4) patients;
Doctors / Nurses
Waiting Room to
accommodate in excess of fifty-five (55) persons;
Staff and Patient
bathrooms including bathrooms specifically designed to accommodate disabled
Emergency Area; and,
Nurses of the Grand Bahama Health services cut the ceremonial ribbon. (BIS Photo/Sharon Turner)
also included enhanced Security Parking for Staff.
Theatres have been increased in size from a 3,500 sq. ft. one theatre
facility to an 8,500 sq. ft.facility including the following:
Two (2) Class C
(515 ft²) Operating Theatres;
One (1) Class
B Minor Procedure/Endoscopy Theatre (300ft² );
One (1) Induction
Room (300ft² );
facilities cost more than $12 million dollars. This according
to our Opponents amounts to neglect of Grand Bahama!
state-of-the-art facilities along with an internet-enabled connection
to the Princess Margaret Hospital for consultation and education purposes
will bring the Rand into the 21st century of critical care.
Bahama has demonstrated a need for the recruitment and training of some
sixty-nine (69) persons. Already thirty-one (31) persons have been engaged.
It is anticipated that over the course of the next four to five weeks,
an additional thirty-eight (38) persons will be recruited and trained.
the 69 persons, thirty-one (31) persons are slated to be deployed to
the Accident & Emergency Urgent Care Centre and Operating Theatre
am assured that the PHA has developed a very comprehensive training
program so as to ensure that these persons are appropriately trained
and may relieve nurses from routine duties allowing the more highly
trained nurses to focus their attention on the special needs of our
patients in Accident & Emergency/Operating Theatre.
Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham views some of the new and additional beds in the multimillion dollar Accident/Emergency Centre. (BIS Photo/Sharon Turner)
is evident from the level and quality of training being given to the
participants in the PHA National Jobs Training programme, the PHA are
fully disposed to offer permanent employment to trainees who demonstrate
their abilities and dedication to work.
are still more healthcare benefits on the way for Freeport. For example,
another of the Dorsette Report recommendations was the construction
of a new community health centre. Such a facility is now on the
way. It will provide the full range of primary health care services,
including services for mothers and children and for the prevention and
control of chronic non-communicable diseases.
new facilities will enhance the quality of medical services at the Rand.
They also represent my Government’s efforts to create jobs and opportunities
for talented Grand Bahamian professionals and artisans, allowing them
to demonstrate their design, project management and construction skills
on specialized infrastructural projects.
LaFleur and Associates are responsible for the design of the Rand’s
operating theatres. They worked closely with Mr. Terrence Cartwright,
the Public Hospitals Authority’s lead specialist for this project.
Construction was engaged as the contractor for the project. I
commend both the contracted groups and the PHA’s Capital Development
Unit, for the part they have played in the realization of the commissioning
we undertake here today.
Pictured from left are Dr. Gregory Bartlett, GB Health Services Medical Chief of Staff; Herbert Brown, Managing Director of the Public Hospitals Authority; Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham and Health Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis. (BIS Photo/Sharon Turner)
Accident and Emergency Department was designed and managed by Mr. Tyrone
Burrows of the Capital Development Unit team of the Public Hospitals
Authority. I commend Mr. Burrows, the leadership of the Public Hospitals
Authority and Grand Bahama Health Services for their collaboration in
producing a facility that will serve as a model as we continue to upgrade
and modernize our health care infrastructure throughout The Bahamas.
Construction has earned a reputation for efficiency and building excellence.
The Public Hospitals Authority is very pleased to have had their services
for this pivotal project.
intended, this project also provided work for a range of other participants,
including plumbers, electricians, roofers and other construction specialists.
I am pleased that the phased redevelopment of the Rand Memorial Hospital
has generated much needed economic activity and employment and business
opportunities throughout the community. Let me assure you, more will
facilities are a part of my Government’s comprehensive plan for modernizing
and expanding tertiary, secondary and primary care facilities throughout
to the process is the redevelopment of the Princess Margaret Hospital
at New Providence to function fully as the umbrella referral institution
for our health care system.
was broken for the new Critical Care Block at PMH this past November.
Estimated at a cost of over $52 million, construction has begun in earnest.
It will be the single largest investment in health care facilities in
this state-of-the-art facility at Princess Margaret Hospotal is completed
in June 2013, it will be on par with, and in some instances, surpass
major healthcare facilities in the developed world.
in New Providence, the Robert Smith Child Health and Adolescent Centre
& Special Education Unit, which will be handed over to the Public
Hospitals Authority in March of this year by the National Insurance
Board is a 35,000 square foot complex. It is being built at a
cost of $12 million dollars and is part of a comprehensive upgrade of
the Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre in New Providence.
Health Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis brings remarks. (BIS Photo/Sharon Turner)
of any kind, poses many challenges, especially in a far-flung archipelago
such as ours. Not the least of these is the provision of healthcare
expertise and infrastructure to meet the needs of communities scattered
over thousands of square miles. Throughout our history, it has
meant duplicating efforts, facilities and manpower many times over,
putting great pressure on national resources.
availability of readily accessible healthcare and medical resources,
especially appropriate first response equipment and skills in the care
of trauma, are critical to saving lives. My government’s master plan
for delivering optimal healthcare is for larger islands to serve as
a central point for health care services.
is intended that the healthcare infrastructure in The Bahamas will encompass
a community hospital on the most populous islands while providing smaller
health centres for satellite islands and cays. The first of these
community hospitals will be built in Abaco and Exuma and thereafter
in Eleuthera and Long Island.
SLIDE SHOW photos: Derek Carroll
community hospitals will provide well-equipped delivery wards for maternity
cases as well as male and female in-patient services. This means that
Family Islanders in Abaco and Exuma and thereafter other islands, who
require hospitalization for non-critical health illnesses, and women
who experience uncomplicated pregnancies, will be able to receive the
necessary care on their home islands.
modern, well-equipped facilities will make quality healthcare more accessible
and affordable for area residents.
the Rand as the lead health care centre in the Northern Bahamas the
Grand Bahama Health System is a fine example of the organizational structure
I just described. Community clinic services are currently provided through
seven primary clinics and three satellite clinics on the island of Grand
Bahama and surrounding cays.
of the main clinics is the Eight Mile Rock facility. The others are
located at McClean’s Town, Hawksbill, High Rock, West End, and Sweeting’s
Cay in the Grand Bahama and Grand Cay in the Abaco chain of cays.
Satellite health care facilities are located at Freetown, Pelican Point,
and Waters Cay.
in August 2009, the new clinic on Grand Cay is an example of our new
thrust in the provision of health care facilities. The clinic has a
modern maternity ward, comfortable examination and treatment rooms,
fully equipped dental and X-Ray suites, a two-bed overnight ward, and
a pharmacy. It also has resuscitation and stabilization equipment and
the services of a qualified midwife.
Photo: Derek Carroll
pattern is being replicated throughout our Commonwealth. Also in August
of 2009, my Government launched upgraded facilities at the Nicholls
Town Community Health Centre in North Andros and the Miriam Greene Community
Health Centre in Johnson Bay, South Andros.
year, we have completed construction of Inagua’s new community health
centre. It will be officially opened on 3rd February.
am also pleased to report that the community hospitals planned for Exuma
and Abaco are at the tender stage and ground is expected to broken for
both in February of this year.
government operates on the principle that every Bahamian must have access
to quality, accessible and affordable health care. In this regard, the
Public Hospitals Authority, is mandated to require specialists attached
to the Princess Margaret Hospital to hold clinics in Grand Bahama on
a monthly basis. This means that residents of Grand Bahama will
not have to travel to Nassau for these essential services. The
Public Hospitals Authority has assured me that this new service will
begin before the end of June, 2012.
Photo: Derek Carroll
government is also expanding health care through the National Prescription
Drug Plan. The Drug Plan is a two-part initiative that significantly
enhances access to life-saving prescription medication for the treatment
of non-communicable chronic diseases such as: arthritis, asthma,
breast cancer, diabetes, glaucoma, high cholesterol, major depression,
hypertension, ischaemic heart disease, prostate cancer and psychosis.
it is being offered absolutely free-of-charge to the first 11 beneficiary
groups, the Drug Plan is reducing patient burden of paying for prescription
drugs. It is also improving patient compliance
following his or her physician-prescribed treatment regimen.
essence we are saving lives, extending life-spans, and improving the
quality of life.
am advised that in Grand Bahama, as of January 6th of this year, there
are four private pharmacies and nine public facilities supporting the
Prescription Drug Plan and 2,061 active beneficiaries. To date, NIB
has paid $271,052 to the private pharmacies on their behalf for an average
weekly payout of $4,046.
as important to achieving our goal of a healthier nation, is the Healthy
People Initiative. This second component of the Drug Plan promotes healthy
lifestyle choices to lower the incidence of non-communicable diseases,
which afflict one in three Bahamians.
programmes are exceeding expectations. The National Prescription Drug
Plan began in September of 2010 with 6,500 participants. The number
of beneficiaries has more than doubled to 16,758 persons in eleven categories.
Since the launch of the Plan, nearly 200,000 prescription medications
have been dispensed nationwide.
Universal Declaration of Human Rights declares: “
Everyone has the
right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being
of oneself and one’s family.” First class medical care
to promote optimum health is the right of every citizen, a right upheld
by my Government.
pledge to you again today, and to the Bahamian people, that my Government
will continue to improve the quality of life and the quality of health
care for the Bahamian people.
will continue to implement our strategic plan for enhanced healthcare
for Grand Bahama, and for Bahamians the length and breadth of our Commonwealth.
as we commission these facilities, I renew my Government’s solemn
vow and enduring commitment to improving health care for all.
It is now my privilege to officially commission the Upgraded Accident
& Emergency Urgent Centre and the Operating Theatre & Day Surgical
Unit at the Rand Memorial Hospital.