By GENEA NOEL
FN Senior Reporter
A new health care facility has been earmarked for the Freeport area that will un-doubtedly lessen the current strain at the Rand Memorial Hospital (RMH).
This was revealed by Direc-tor of the Public Hospital Authority, Herbert Brown, to members of the media yesterday while touring the on-going renovations at the RMH yesterday.
Though no date has been set for construction nor has a budget for the project been finalized, Brown said that the new facility will be “major” and an asset to the Grand Bahama community.
“There are a lot of services that we provide within the hospital that really do not belong there. What we are trying to do, really, is to remove those patients who don’t really need the Accident and Emergency Facility. We have persons going there now with coughs and colds, clearly that is not the purpose for that department.”
He noted that the challenge that has existed in Grand Bahama for many years is the fact that there is no public clinic in the area like those in West End, Eight Mile Rock, Hawksbill, and High Rock.
“Constructing a clinic in the Freeport area will certainly be the first phase of the redevelopment of the Rand Memorial Hospital.”
When asked about a new hospital for the island Brown said that on the surface that may seem like an easy solution, but noted that the cost involved is significant.
“Yes, one would say you need a new hospital, but if you look at the cost of what a new hospital will be, it is an enormous amount of money. If you look at what we are doing in New Providence it is an enormous amount of money to construct a new hospital,” he said, adding that the on going renovations of the facilities in Grand Bahama will be state of the art and exclusive to the island.
“What we are doing while we await the construction of a new hospital is improving the level of service that we have in the existing facility until we are able to construct a new hospital.”
Brown added that once completed the new clinic designated for The Freeport area will also need additional staff and there are some recruitment exercises underway.
“We will await the budget for 2011/2012. We are asking for additional resources and clearly there will be a need not only for the new facility, but the demand of the existing services.”
Case of TB reported at Shipyard
By GENEA NOEL
FN Senior Reporter
An employee of the Grand Bahama Shipyard is being treated for tuberculosis (TB) at a health care facility on the island and according to officials from the Ministry of Health, the case is being appropriately managed.
Health Minister Doctor Hubert Minnis was on island yesterday inspecting the on-going renovations at the Rand Memorial Hospital.
He allayed rumors that the dreaded contagious bacterial infection had affected several persons on the island.
According to Minnis, there are no new cases and the Shipyard employee is known to them, as he was treated for TB before.
“I want to set the record straight that there are no new cases of TB at the Shipyard. This one individual who works at the shipyard, who is known to us, has subsequently showed evidence of TB.”
“As a result, he has undergone all of the necessary screenings as was done earlier and as is done throughout The Bahamas and throughout the world to ensure that the community is safe,” Minnis explained, adding that they have also met with the Shipyard personnel and unions on the matter.
“When we had the incidence of TB at the Shipyard in 2008 there was certain protocols and recommendations that were put in place and I can say that the Shipyard has followed all recommendations and have been cooperative 100 percent.”
Starting next week Minnis said that teams from New Providence and Grand Baha-ma will conduct all of the necessary screening.
The infected individual, he said, was placed on prophylactic medication in the past and suggested that the patient apparently did not complete his course of medication. As a result the infection returned.
” This employee is now being managed so there is no danger to the workplace,” Minnis said.