Health care improvements are not a priority for Christie Administration
The Free National Movement is calling on the Christie Administration to reconsider its decision to cancel the Rand Memorial expansion and improvement project. Grand Bahama has suffered for many years with less than adequate medical facilities and welcomed the commissioning of new operating theaters earlier this year by the FNM Government.
This new state of the art addition is the best of its kind in the region and has attracted surgeons from both New Providence and Grand Bahama who prefer this facility in which to perform surgery on patients from around the Bahamas.
This upgrade is part of an overall expansion of the Rand. There has always been a bed shortage at the Freeport hospital and the increased use of the operating theaters has further stretched the recovery capacity of the Rand. The FNM administration purchased the former Island Palm Resort adjacent to the hospital which provided a significant increase in capacity for the hospital.
The PLP Government’s decision to stop this project puts the future of the Rand Memorial in doubt and the possibility of economic expansion for Grand Bahama through Domestic Health Tourism in jeopardy. We question the Christie administration’s commitment to the overall improvement of health services to Grand Bahama and their ability to provide real initiatives to stimulate growth to the local economy.
We are aware that many families are experiencing major financial challenges as a result of the global economic crisis and we support an expansion of the social safety net. We do not support the compromise of the local health care system and the potential economic spin-off that can come from the completed Rand Improvement project which would provide much needed jobs for the people of Grand Bahama.
The Ministry of Social Services has existing programs that render emergency assistance to people in need and we support the expansion of these programs to alleviate the difficulties associated with unemployment or underemployment. The PLP Government’s decision is an admission that they do not have a plan to improve the economy of Grand Bahama.
We call on the Prime Minister to move forward with the Rand Memorial improvement project and find other ways to bring relief to the people of Grand Bahama that includes economic empowerment.