The Governor General of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas Her Excellency the Honorable Dame Marguerite Pindling made her annual visit to Grand Bahama on Wednesday (December 5). A special ceremony was held on the grounds of the Rand Memorial Hospital in honor of her visit.
The occasion marked the 20th Anniversary of the Annual Governor General’s Visit and it was being held under the theme “A Very Special Christmas.”
Dame Pindling stated that the Bahamas has much to be thankful for.
“One major example is, unlike last year have been spared the ravages of a hurricane,” she said.
“In am sure this facility and the wider community appreciates the services provided by the volunteers who so kindly give of themselves to help others,” she said.
The Governor General commended the healthcare professionals of the Grand Bahama Health
Services for what they do on a daily basis in the healthcare sector.”
She encouraged an ongoing process in that regard and extended compliments also the volunteers.
Other officials attended the ceremony, including Minister of Health Dr. the Hon. Duane Sands, Minister of Health; Minister of State in the Grand Bahama Office of the Prime Minister Senator J. Kwasi Thompson; OPM in GB Permanent Secretary Harcourt Brown and Senator Jasmine Dareus.
Minister Sands commended the members of the GBHS and RMH staff for their work in the health sector.
He said that so much has occurred within the GBHS and outlined some of the progress made this year, inclusive of patient care at the hospital and community clinics.
“This was achieved with the implementation of plans for capacity building, for communicable diseases prevention and control in Grand Bahama by addressing improvements in staffing, training clinical protocols, policies and procedures.
“Additionally, implementation of the plan to strengthen prevention, control, and management of healthy lifestyles and chronic non-communicable disease programs were also expedited.
“Health care providers in the private sector will also receive training,” said the minister.
He noted that the Grand Bahama Health Services (GBHS) recently recommended the decentralization of appointed care testing for Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and continues to train the staff for rapid testing.
Grand Bahama is proving to be “a marvel of innovation of a strategic plan for the detection, prevention control and management of non-communicable diseases with early emphasis on diabetes and hypertension” expressed Dr. Sands who said his point is exemplified in the recent expansion of the CDC clinic in East Grand Bahama.
He noted that only with focus, strategic, relentless approach to these issues that prioritizes prevention, this can be addressed.
Additionally, plans to strengthen prevention and control of non-communicable diseases have expedited.
Sands furthered that operating theatre hours were also expanded to include and increase in day cases with further plans to maximize usage of the facility by establishing an agreement with the Princess Margaret Hospital Consultant Surgeons to provide visiting on-site surgical services.
The process entails extending operating theatre hours to 11 pm, acquisition of additional staff to support the extended hours, and procurement of relevant equipment and instruments to facilitate the Gastroenterology surgical procedures.
“I am pleased to report that planning is in progress to expand Out Patient Specialty Clinic by 2019 to include Oncology, Men’s Health and Adolescent Health,” he said.
He noted as well, that infrastructure at the RMH is also ongoing.
“This has enabled additional stages in the process of physical redevelopment. The out patient department services and general practice clinic were relocated to the Freeport Community Clinic housed in the I.A.T building just opposite the RMH.
“A consortium of health services are provided daily until 11pm,” he said.
The now vacant areas resulting from the relocation of out patient services will be redesigned to establish a private ward service within the RMH.
Construction on the new RMH kitchen and cafeteria is still in progress along with the mall corridor and is soon to be completed.
“The decanted kitchen and cafeteria spaces will be redeveloped to construct a new eight-bedded public ward inclusive of an Intensive Care unit bed expansion and Isolation room,” he said.
Sands further disclosed that the RMH Radiology department recently installed a Picture Archiving and Communications System (PACS) to assist in treating radiology patients.
Minister Sands also revealed accomplishments made by nurses and doctors in various training programs. He stated that eight participants completed the first cohort of competency training for clinical nurses, four registered nurses completed training in Community Health Nursing, and two completed training in Midwifery practices. Also, nurses and doctors participated in syndromic training.
The Nursing Department has also gained 22 graduate trained Clinical Nurses and nine registered nurses from the University of the Bahamas (UB).
A new CT scanner is also expected to be installed in January 2019.
Dr. Sands expressed delight that “these are exciting times for the GBHS.”