Former Minister of Health Responds to Hubert Ingraham

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Marcus Bethel, Former Minister of Health

Press Statement For Immediate Release By
Dr. Marcus Bethel, former Minister of Health (2002-2006)
January 23rd 2012

I wish to make the following statement in response to remarks made by Prime Minister Ingraham at the opening ceremony of the Rand Hospital extension of Wednesday 18th January 2012 during which he referenced “the lack of performance of the Minister of Health who lives in Freeport and served in the Christie Cabinet”.

The Prime Minister referred to the Dorsett Report and the absence of any action by the said Minister.

The following facts were not forthcoming from the Prime Minister namely:

1. The Dorsett Consulting firm recommended along with other business, civic and social partners that the preferred action would be to construct a new green site hospital in Freeport because the existing facility was aged and inadequate for the anticipated growth of Freeport and Grand Bahama, and did not possess the land for adequate growth at its present site in the downtown area.

2. The Public Hospital Authority (PHA) on my instructions proceeded to initiate and concluded discussions with the Grand Bahama Port Authority for the acquisition of a new green site for the construction of a new hospital to replace the existing Rand Hospital.

The site identified was a 30acre area off Sergeant Major Road adjacent to the Jack Hayward High School.

3. Mr. Ingraham on assuming the reins of government in 2007 was reported to have said that the construction of a new hospital in Freeport was not a priority of his Administration and that he would concentrate his efforts on the Princess Margaret Hospital in Nassau.

4. Hence the preparation for the development of a new modern hospital in Grand Bahama was shelved by the FNM administration which then proceeded to step backwards and focus on a partial redevelopment of the existing structure.

Mr. Ingraham is being disingenuous and deceitful in his statement that “the Christie Administration left no footprints in Grand Bahama”.

1. I invite Mr. Ingraham to view the Eight Mile Rock Clinic which his earlier administration was unable to complete but was completed and opened during the Christie Administration and regional ambulance service was provided to the West Grand Bahama communities

2. Mr. Ingraham needs to travel to East End Grand Bahama to view the Solid Waste transfer depot facility developed and opened during the Christie Administration. This facility has enhanced the environment in East Grand Bahama by eliminating indiscriminate dumping.

3.Mr. Ingraham needs to visit the multiple public health clinics in Grand Bahama to view the upgraded and renovated status that took place during the Christie Administration following 10 years of neglect during his earlier administration (1992-2002).

4. Mr Ingraham needs to interview the many nurses that were trained during the Christie Administration and are working in our healthcare network throughout the Bahamas.

5. Mr Ingraham needs to return to the Rand Hospital to view the upgraded Xray facility including the CAT scan centre and the ICU facility, and the improved patient and administrative information management systems in place both at the Rand and Princess Margaret Hospitals.

I trust that Mr. Ingraham will take time during his electioneering to speak “the whole truth even though it may be an inconvenient truth” and avoid rhetoric that demeans himself and the country he wishes to lead.