Minister of Health Dr. Duane Sands, recently, provided an update regarding the conditions of the Rand Memorial Hospital (RMH), after staff and patients were forced to evacuate the primary healthcare facility due to a fire that erupted in the kitchen nearly three months ago.
Committed to the advancement of healthcare in the Grand Bahama community, Dr. Sands said, “Repairs to the Rand Memorial Hospital (RMH) kitchen are nearing completion since the blaze that occurred several months ago. Presently, patient meals are being provided; however, as the kitchen is not fully operational, meals typically provided for all staff, as well as, has not be reinstated as yet.
“With the completion of the brand new kitchen facility, the need may be eliminated for the aforementioned to be brought up to speed.”
He noted that there are two parallel activities occurring, “in that reasonable progress has been achieved in regard to the renovations for the cafeteria at RMH as well as the Physicians’ On-Call Rooms and quite frankly, I am pleased with the progression.
“Plans on the way forward as it relates to the Intensive Care Unit and In-patient facilities at RMH are also being examined in a strategic manner.”
Addressing the proposed conversion of the IAT (Immune Augmentation Therapy) Building, which is earmarked for reconstruction as a clinic, Dr. Sands noted that every effort is being utilized to ensure the project moves forth in a way that proves to be fortuitous as far as the advancement of accessible, state-of-the-art healthcare is concerned.
Furthermore, the Minister of Health revealed that architectural drawings have already been completed; however, nothing would be done until RMH Kitchen and Physicians’ On-Call Rooms are constructed.
“Indeed, there have been a lot of questions asked as to where the government will go to next, as far as the Ministry of Health is concerned on Grand Bahama Island.
“Definitely, we are going to take a holistic view of the entire island within the context of The Bahamas and then decide which Capital Development Project takes place and when.
“Obviously, everyone wants to have a facility similar to the West End Clinic and certainly I am pleased to see what we have accomplished in the community,” he noted.
“Of course, there is going to be an increase in gentle envy around The Bahamas concerning the West End Clinic and I am sure we will be receiving calls from Long Island, the Abacos and others as to when they will be able to have a facility of similar ilk to established.
“Certainly it is my goal to ensure that the public understands that the Ministry of Health’s commitment has not changed in regards to elevating the quality of healthcare for all Bahamians across the length and breadth of this archipelago.
However, we do not intend to bite off more than we can chew hence we will be proceeding in a strategic manner,” Dr. Sands declared.
Dr. Sands also addressed inquiries put forth by The Freeport News as it relates to the construction of the Government Clinic in the Lucaya area.
“That clinic is not a major priority at this point, despite comments that would suggest that it is. However, at this present time that is not one of our major focuses.”
With healthcare topping the list of primary focus of the Prime Minister Dr. Hubert A. Minnis followed closely by education, national security and the social safety net of The Bahamas, many are lauding Minister of Health Dr. Sands for working diligently to not only improve the quality of healthcare made available to Bahamians, but also being dedicated to improving and remaining on the cutting-edge of medical advancements to establish and preserve a healthy nation well into the future through strategic planning.