<<< Dr Denielle Robinson, District Medical Officer, George Town Community Clinic (left) and Minister of Health Dr. the Hon. Hubert A. Minnis inspects the defibrillator that was recently donated to the Clinic. Dr. Minnis said the defibrillator is critical to the resuscitation of patients and along with the ambulance that was also donated, will help improve healthcare services on Exuma, its cays and Ragged Island.
George Town, Exuma — Officials at the Ministry of Health and the Department of Public Health are “moving ahead” with plans for the construction of a mini-hospital on mainland Exuma, Minister of Health Dr the Hon Hubert A Minnis said recently.
Dr. Minnis said the construction of the mini-hospital will result in the provision of improved services to residents of the area that, in turn, should further improve health outcomes there.
The Health Minister said renovations are also scheduled to be undertaken at a number of the healthcare facilities in the Exuma and Ragged Island Districts within “this budget year” as part of the Government of The Bahamas’ commitment to further improving healthcare services to Exuma, its cays and Ragged Island.
Dr. Minnis was in Exuma to participate in the hand-over ceremony of an ambulance and a defibrillator that were donated to healthcare officials at the George Town Clinic.
“The comfort of now having a functional ambulance and other emergency resuscitative equipment such as the defibrillator will go a long way toward improving the management and resuscitation of patients,” Dr Minnis said.
“The donation of these two vital pieces of equipment is critical to the resuscitation of patients and improvement of healthcare services, brought about through community leadership and participation.
“I take this opportunity to express my Ministry’s appreciation and gratitude to the Dingman and Clemente families, volunteers and other stakeholders for their generosity in the donation of the ambulance and defibrillator,” Dr Minnis added.
The Health Minister said the donations come at a most opportune time as healthcare officials move forward with their plans to construct the new mini-hospital.
He said a review of expenditure for emergency medical services revealed that $683,346.80 was spent by the Department of Public Health on the evacuations of residents requiring emergency transport services from the District for the period July, 2008 to January, 2010.
Of this amount, $211,000 was spent for the evacuation of persons requiring air transportation from the Exuma and Ragged Island.
“Our data also showed that 43 persons from Exuma required Air Ambulatory services during this period,” Dr Minnis said. “The leading causes for these evacuations were trauma resulting from traffic accidents and intentional violence and injuries totaling 12 cases; chronic, non-communicable diseases and related conditions (seven cases) and seizures, accounting for five cases.”
Dr. Minnis said that as part of the build-up leading to the construction of the mini-hospital and the renovation of some of the existing facilities, officials from the Ministry of Health, the Department of Public Health and the Public Hospitals Authority will conduct First Responders Training for at least 20 persons beginning next month.
The Health Minister said an availability of knowledgeable and skilled healthcare providers and First responders are “critical components” to the delivery of immediate and quality services and pre-hospital stabilization.
“Over the years, residents Exuma have received First Responder Training; however the need to build local capacity so as to strengthen health services must be continuous,” Dr Minnis said.
“I applaud the volunteer ambulance drivers and other First Responders who have unselfishly given of their time in assisting the healthcare team and residents of Exuma in the delivery of healthcare services.
“It is through the development of positive collaborations between the healthcare team and other agencies that build community capacity to tackle existing and future health issues and foster the overall health of the community by strengthening the citizens’ trust in each other and through which individuals are empowered to increase their health knowledge and skills,” Dr Minnis added.
Minister of Health Dr the Hon Hubert A Minnis inspects the medicine cart of the recently donated ambulance following a hand-over ceremony on the island of Exuma. The Health Minister applauded the efforts of the Dingman and Clemente families, volunteers and other stakeholders for their generosity in the donation of the ambulance and a defibrillator. Pictured with the Minister is Nursing Supervisor Jessica Stubbs, Community Health Nurse for Exuma, its cays and Ragged Island.