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Minister of Health Tours Grand Bahama Facilities

Minister of Health Dr. the Hon. Duane Sands tours Grand Bahama health facilities, June 23, 2017. He is pictured chatting with young medical professionals (at right) and just outside of ‘Ultrasound’ Room. (BIS Photos/Vandyke Hepburn)

Freeport, Grand Bahama – Minister of Health, Dr. the Hon. Duane Sands made his first official visit to Grand Bahama on Friday, June 23, and said that the services offered on island will be strengthened so that it becomes the hub of the Northern Bahamas.

Minister Sands started his morning by touring areas of the Rand Memorial Hospital and stopping occasionally to speak with staff and patients.

He toured the Pharmacy, Pediatrics, Radiology, Accident and Emergency, Orthopedics, the Diah Unit, the Medical Ward, the Operating Theatre, and Obstetrics before moving on to the renovation sites that consist of the corridor site, kitchen and cafeteria, doctor’s on-call and IAT – proposed OPD/Specialty Clinic.

Other areas toured by the delegation include: Hawksbill Clinic and Physiotherapy Department, Eight Mile Rock Clinic and Nurses and Doctors Residence, West End Temporary Clinic and West End renovation sites.

Following his tour of the Rand, the Minister said a few words to the media adding that even though it was the Minister’s first official tour, he has been coming to the Rand Memorial Hospital for the past 10 years. Describing it as almost like “coming home,” he was greeted warmly in his capacity of Minister of Health.

“There are great things that happen here at this facility. When you realize the scope of services that are provided surgically, in obstetrics and pediatrics and internal medicine — we envisage in the plan for the development of healthcare throughout The Bahamas, what can be described as a hub-and-spoke system.

“So we have a very well-developed system in Nassau. We now have services in Grand Bahama that need to be improved, strengthened. We have been asked many times today about when are we going to be bringing oncology or cancer services to Grand Bahama.”

The Minister continued, “I’m pleased to report to the Bahamian people that the Managing Director and Hospital Administrator here know that that is a commitment that we need to make happen, hopefully before the end of this calendar year. Hopefully, before the end of 2017, so that Grand Bahamians no longer need to come to Nassau to get chemotherapy or see their oncologist.

“We want to strengthen the services provided here so that this becomes the hub for the Northern Bahamas. There are a whole lot of exciting renovations and developments that are happening here. We’re looking at new imaging equipment, a new CAT scanner, a new MRI machine, redevelopment of the kitchen, additional ward space and so on.”

He said that they were going on to have a look at the new primary care and clinic facilities, and so there were a number of things going on in Grand Bahama and he was pleased to be able to see it first hand.

Making up the delegation were: Herbert Brown, Managing Director of Public Health Authority; Cherlyn Bastian-Wallace, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health; Sharon Williams, Hospital Administrator; Sandra Mortimer-Russell, Deputy Hospital Administrator; Cherlyn Bain, Principle Nursing Officer (PNO); Sherone Singh, Senior Assistant Hospital Administrator; Roland Bevans, Facility Manager; Dr. Paul Ward, Medical Chief Officer; Christina Parisod, Financial Controller; Adelecia Martinborough-Campbell, Area Administrative Manager; Kayla Swain, Area Administrative Swain; and Judy Terrell, Director of Communications, PHA. Also present were Erroll Johnson, Engineer, Capital Development Unit; Terrance Cartwright, Projects Manager, CDU; and Tyrone Burrows, Architect, CDU.