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All Hands On Deck For This

EDITOR, The Tribune

The idea of the West End Clinic being used as a quarantine facility for COVID-19 patients has been rejected outright by some West End residents. With the current state of the Rand Memorial Hospital in Freeport City, owing to the devastating impact of Hurricane Dorian in September 2019, Health Minister Dr. Duane Sands and the Free National Movement (FNM) administration view the West End Clinic as a superior option to the Hawksbill Clinic and Pearce Plaza on Coral Road. The makeshift hospital set up by Samaritan’s Purse is obviously not a feasible option. The West End Clinic is the second best healthcare facility owned by the Public Hospitals Authority on Grand Bahama. The previous Progressive Liberal Party administration, under the auspices of former West Grand Bahama and Bimini MP Obie Wilchcombe, had pumped over $2 million in upgrading that facility into a state of the art clinic that all West End residents can be proud of. This can explain why the FNM is viewing it as an attractive site to house potential COVID-19 patients. What must be underscored is that the $2 million used to carry out upgrades came from the very taxpayers West End residents are dead set against being cared for at the facility in the event they contract the novel coronavirus. Again, it must be emphasized that tax dollars paid for the upgrades to that clinic -- a point that these West End residents seems to have missed.

Had Dorian not slammed into Grand Bahama, potential COVID-19 patients from West End would’ve been treated at the Rand Memorial. Freeporters, particularly those who live on East Atlantic Drive where the Rand Memorial is located, wouldn’t have objected to such, as West End residents are human beings deserving of human empathy – a virtue some West End residents are severely lacking in, during one of the most challenging crisis in recent history. History will not be kind to these West End residents. West End residents should not allow their fear of COVID-19 to cloud their judgment. COVID-19 has the potential of morphing into an humanitarian crisis. All hands must be on deck to fight this monster. Now is not the time for self-centredness.

KEVIN EVANS

Freeport,

March 30, 2010

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