Cancer Registry, Tumor Board among Upgrades Expected to ‘Transform’ PMH

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Minister of Health and Social Development Dr. the Hon Hubert A. Minnis, visited several Wards at the Princess Margaret Hospital, Thursday (December 6, 2007), as part of the annual Official Visit of the Governor General. Dr. Minnis accompanied Governor-General His Excellency the Hon. Arthur D. Hanna to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), Male Surgical I, Female Surgical, Gynaecology and male Orthopaedic Wards, where they visited with patients and gave special gifts to the children. (Photo/Patrick Hanna)

By: Matt Maura

NASSAU, The Bahamas — The establishment of a Cancer Registry on the grounds of the Princess Margaret Hospital, along with a “truly functional and certified Tumor Board with all of the ancillary services,” are among the many upgrades that are expected to not only transform the PMH into the leading healthcare and teaching facility in the region, but also to enhance the delivery of services to its clientele.

Minister of Health and Social Development Dr. the Hon. Hubert A. Minnis said, on December 6, 2007, the launch of the Registry and the establishment of the Tumor Board will also “go a long way” in helping to reduce the high prevalence of cancer in The Bahamas.

Additional upgrades scheduled for the facility are all expected to “enhance service delivery” to its clientele.

“We should all be aware of the high prevalence of cancer in our country (which) is now the leading cause of death among women,” Dr. Minnis said. “I am advised that the work on the former Bahai Building is near completion. I therefore look forward to the establishment of the Cancer Registry and a truly certified Tumor Board.”

The commissioning of the Registry is part of the overall process of “re-strengthening and restructuring” the services and facilities at the state-owned and managed healthcare facility.

Others include the further strengthening of the Patient Relations Department which Minister Minnis said will assist hospital officials and administrators in “systematically analyze” all relevant complaints of customers and patients, target those areas from which the majority of the complaints emerge, and respond in a “timely fashion” to those affected, and the establishment of the University of the West Indies Library, which will be housed on the Upper Level of the former Bahai Building.

“As a teaching institution, the Princess Margaret Hospital must provide an adequately equipped library, especially for our medical students, as we continue the development to a first-class teaching facility,” Dr. Minnis said.

“Our goal, in conjunction with the University of the West Indies, is to ensure that the quality of doctors that train at our institution is second to none anywhere in the Caribbean and rival those found anywhere else in the world.”

Dr. Minnis said he was “excited” about the launch of the Telemedicine Pilot Project on Monday, December 3, 2007, and the “tremendous potential” it has for enhanced service delivery in the Family Islands.

“After reviewing and watching the performance of the Telemedicine just the other day and listening to a patient’s heartbeat in Abaco, via Princess Margaret Hospital, and being able to examine the patient’s ear, I am convinced that in the near future, Princess Margaret Hospital will be able to host a cardiac clinic from Nassau for those patients in Abaco,” Dr. Minnis said.

“I am also convinced that in the near future, PMH will also be able to host a specialist ENT Clinic (Ear, Nose and Throat) using the same process that was demonstrated on Monday,” Dr. Minnis added.

Dr. Minnis said the further strengthening and restructuring of the Patient Relations Department will assist officials and administrators at PMH to “better address” some of the “feedback” the facility receives with regards to the delivery of some services to clientele.

“Communication is crucial in allaying fears and reducing the anger and frustration that waiting for services often bring,” he said. “We continue to receive complaints from a number of sources regarding the delivery of services at the Princess Margaret Hospital and while these may seem negative, they provide us with a real opportunity to assess ourselves and make improvements where necessary.

“I am sure that this will improve the institution’s image, as well as our services to clients who must be assured that their complaints have been acted upon and that corrective action has been taken where necessary.

“We cannot emphasize enough, our appreciation for the dedication and commitment of the entire staff of this great institution and I look forward to your continued teamwork as we, together, seek to improve the health of our nation,” Dr. Minnis added.