By EARYEL BOWLEG
Tribune Staff Reporter
PRIME Minister Philip Davis admitted Princess Margaret Hospital is in a state of “crisis” after a tour of the public health facility on Saturday.
Mr Davis along with Health and Wellness Minister Dr Michael Darville, Public Hospitals Authority managing director Dr Aubynette Rolle and other officials toured wards, in particular those that are under renovation.
Speaking to the media afterwards, Mr Davis acknowledged the state of PMH and the government’s commitment to addressing it.
“A government has (the) responsibility of ensuring that its citizens have access to public health services in a manner that is dignified, and in surroundings and facilities that accord to best practices. The challenges we see, or we saw this morning, is not new.
“You would have heard during the tour yourselves how long many of the departments and units of the hospital had been in a state of disrepair and not being used.
“So what we see here is not challenges, but truly crisis, and I indicated then that we had a health crisis and part of that crisis is exacerbated by the COVID pandemic, which exposed the infrastructural challenges in crisis we had that require immediate attention - we have the responsibility of providing those services. We see patients in corridors on gurneys. We see the tight spaces in which the nurses and doctors are operating and it just heightens the urgency of now that we do what we need to do and do it very swiftly and quickly.”
He added: “We were hearing about it. We were seeing the news about it, but to come and walk and experience it is truly heart wrenching to see what we have today but we will fix it — we are fixing it. Hence, we trust that you will see what we’re up against and as an aside I said I see why you brought me because you’ll need money but we will do what we have to, because I take a very serious view.”
He told PMH officials that they have his support in getting the health crisis fixed.
For her part, Dr Rolle also conceded the hospital was in a crisis, adding that action is needed.
“I’d like to continue what the prime minister stated and I would term this as crisis - it’s crisis. So it’s at a point to where we really need to action and that’s exactly what we’re doing now because a few of the things that we’re dealing with now in terms of infrastructural have been there for a while but we have we failed to just move forward and have them done but it’s just one level of pandemic after the other. So right now you see it happening with another level of pandemic, which is the sick population.”
There have been complaints for years about a lack of adequate bed space and poor infrastructure at PMH. People have also complained about long wait times to be seen and alleged negligence.
In December an agreement to allow for the transfer of PMH patients to Doctors Hospital West to facilitate much needed repairs at PMH was announced. It was previously reported that the hospital renovations would take place for approximately 14 weeks.
PHA’s managing director said there were around 356 patients in the hospital on Saturday but officials have had up to 424 patients at one point.
“Not all of those patients being in physical beds on the ward, but really being in that virtual space and that is where the levels of concerns are because that is really in the corridor, in emergency room, in the chapels, sitting in chairs because that is what we’re seeing,” Dr Rolle said.
“Doctors Hospital is taking our patients under our contractual agreement, however they have to be more stabilised patients. As I expressed previously, what we are now seeing is unstable patients that really have to remain here for closer observation. So our census is down to Doctors Hospital - we’ve been up to about 41.
“Of course, as with every patient, there’s a discharge date. So we have 13 stable patients there now, we have about 13 boarders here now, and for admissions, we have 13 – We have 13 patients awaiting admission and so we just have to continually look. The number of patients fluctuates. It’s very, very fluid, but we try to accommodate as much as possible all of the unstable patients.”
PMH had some 20 long-term boarders at one point, however, officials are working along with private sector groups and elderly homes to ensure that these people have places where they can live and open up critical bed space.
Dr Darville also spoke more about the plans for the new hospitals in Grand Bahama and New Providence.
He reported that the hospital for Grand Bahama that is being led by the Beck Group is in advanced stages.
Furthermore, officials are now finalising the topographic studies and the geotechnical studies on the new piece of property that is now confirmed for the construction of that facility in Grand Bahama.
“Our medical planners have clearly indicated on completion of that hospital we plan not to have two campuses. The hospital at Rand Memorial Hospital will go down to a secondary facility where we will provide geriatric care as well as psychiatric care and we have a very robust and decent operating theatre where we will do some same day surgeries.”
He reported that the feasibility study for the hospital in New Providence is completed.
“That particular hospital based on the planners will be a specialty hospital focusing on maternity care, adolescents, paediatric care. There will be a reference lab. There will be a national morgue and there will be expanded diagnostic services. I will unveil to the press very shortly, our planned structure for that facility because it will be two phases. The first phase will be the specialty hospital and the second phase that we possibly will not get to in this term in office will be a second campus that would reflect the services that will happen here at the Princess Margaret Hospital.”
stillwaters 1 month, 3 weeks ago
This government went on tour after tour when they came into power.....at least four tours of this very hospital, which they promised to fix back then. Now, after taking a spare moment from his touring the world, the PM again tours PMH and decides.....yes, it's a mess just as everyone has been telling me the whole time.
bahamianson 1 month, 3 weeks ago
I will not even comment.
KapunkleUp 1 month, 3 weeks ago
Almost everything is in a crisis and been like that for a long time. Less lip service and more action.
rosiepi 1 month, 3 weeks ago
Blah blah, just another photo op. This government inherited a construction plan contracted with an accelerated timeline based on the dire needs at Rand and PMH. It was even fully financed with a favourable terms but Davis & his gang couldn’t let the health of Bahamians stand between them and graft from a new contract. They publicly picked it apart and finally had to jettison the loan altogether in a failed attempt to cover their massive spending. Now they’re viewing ‘new sites’ while Bahamians die waiting for care.
carltonr61 1 month, 3 weeks ago
Just stupid. The Gaming empire earned a quick 7 billion dollars for itself and political greasebags of power while in the same time the public treasury can't afford 1 billion dollars for a hospital. PPPs will further enrich the Gaming cabal of silent partners to further rob endlave and indept the Bahamian people.
Flyingfish 1 month, 3 weeks ago
Yep the idiot's and scumbags of the PLP gave way the money making opportunity of Gaming away like the do with everything that benefits the Bahamian people. They didn't listen to the Bahamian people and screwed up even worse. Apparently, No meant Yes to them when it came to legalizing gamboling but when it came to nationalizing the profits for the people and good causes, NO means NO.
Sickened 1 month, 3 weeks ago
So glad to see the PM in country. YAY! That alone is a big step in the right direction. As for the hospital being repaired - it will be very similar to Village Road but with a lot longer time frame. Nothing will be completed until their last year in office. They need to time it any success with election dates. Doing anything now is not in their political interests.
Flyingfish 1 month, 3 weeks ago
Maybe Brave should make Village Rd his next destination since he decided he'd be in country for sightseeing. I mean really you can't be a touristy country and not have a Professional Tourist as a PM.
M0J0 1 month, 3 weeks ago
I do not know why each government continues to place a band aid fix on the hospital. There needs to be a newly constructed hospital. The current hospital is just not worth the added dollars. Make it a pediatric hospital. At least the parts that are good enough.
John 1 month, 3 weeks ago
Seems like this government and this country waits until a situation becomes in crisis mode before they begin managing it or taking corrective actions. Warnings went out around the world that there would be increased in mental and medical illnesses after the pandemic and countries should prepare their facilities accordingly. Fact is that PMH was in crisis all during the pandemic. So now the government must prove they are more than just talk and move why to return the PMH back to normalcy. And beyond that, to turn an inadequate and overwhelmed facility into one that is less burdened.
carltonr61 1 month, 3 weeks ago
PPP for Gaming political gangsters is a double whammy up our treasury and on us stupid foolish Bahamian people. Only God can stop this greed.
carltonr61 1 month, 3 weeks ago
Without Freedom of Information Act we will never know if MPs are themselves giving loans to the government through PPP that they, their lovers, friends, either political party and family have personal shares in.
One 1 month, 3 weeks ago
Build new. In a less congested area. Keep the current location for emergencies.
ThisIsOurs 1 month, 3 weeks ago
I have a feeling this post will save me as lot of typing. Third repost of comment made 2weeks ago:
"This is a very interesting story reported on cnn.com. It sounds so familiar
By Tara Subramaniam and Vedika Sud, CNN Published 6:47 PM EST, Fri January 13, 2023 CNN — .For YEARS, residents in the northern Indian city of Joshimath have complained to local officials that their homes are sinking. Now authorities are being forced to take action, evacuating nearly 100 families in the last week and expediting the arrival of experts to determine the cause.
.Cracks running through the city are now so wide that hundreds of homes are no longer habitable, and some fear that India could lose a key gateway to religious pilgrimages and tourist expeditions on nearby mountain trails.
Kwatra added that the natural factors which put Joshimath, home to around 25,000 people, at risk of sinking are “being exacerbated by large scale construction projects as well as climate induced flash floods and extreme rainfall.”
.Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami visited the affected areas LAST SATURDAY inspecting the homes of residents who fear the structures may collapse."
This is what we do with everything. Ignore it, scurry around when the problem becomes too big to ignore then some official shows up with cameras and a large entourage to walk around to see for themselves.. as if that does anything. The next update I expect to hear is the city gone and the officials have arrived with remediation equipment
SP 1 month, 3 weeks ago
Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah! Getting rid of the dam Hatian parasites would make things at least livable!
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