Marsh Harbour To Get New Community Hospital
MARSH HARBOUR, Abaco — Officials of the National Insurance Board and Coastline Construction Tuesday signed a contract for $12 million for the construction of a new community hospital in Marsh Harbour.
Scheduled to be completed within 60 weeks, the signing and groundbreaking ceremony for the facility came almost 25 years after NIB completed its first Community Clinic at Marsh Harbour in 1988.
At that time, NIB embarked upon a mission to assist with the development and extension of healthcare infrastructure in The Bahamas. They were able to accomplish their goal by “putting aside funds for the construction and equipping of medical facilities that would make quality healthcare more accessible and affordable for Bahamian residents.”
The Marsh Harbour Clinic was the first of its kind.
Minister of Health, Dr. the Hon. Hubert A. Minnis, said the construction of the community hospital will replace the existing primary healthcare facility (clinic) in Marsh Harbour.
“Through the Public Hospitals Authority, the facility will provide improvements and advancements in tele-medicine and tele-radiology for this area; it will allow for the rotation of specialists in New Providence to Marsh Harbour, while also allowing for the bridging and expansion of electronic medical records, numerous outpatient surgical procedures and expanded ante-natal care delivery.
“All residents of Abaco, including those who presently access private health services will benefit from the new and expanded services this facility will provide,” Dr. Minnis added.
The Health Minister said the construction of the facility in Marsh Harbour, and “that for which we signed a contract in Exuma last week” is part of Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon. Hubert A. Ingraham’s vision for the development of the Family Islands.
Dr. Minnis said Mr. Ingraham, despite overseeing the affairs of the country during the “worst recession we have seen in modern times”, has ensured that government services were available to all Bahamians throughout the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.
“While similar public officers were losing jobs all over the world, Prime Minister Ingraham ensured that our healthcare professionals were secure in their employment, and available to do their jobs of keeping The Bahamas healthy,” Dr. Minnis said.
“As one who grew up on the Family Islands, he has always understood the need for essential services to be available, affordable and accessible for those who reside in the Family Islands and there can be no more essential service than healthcare,” Dr. Minnis added.
Dr. Minnis said the hospital is designed “so that if any unforeseen circumstances arise and we need additional bed space, the facility will be able to accommodate those additions.”
“Having bed space at the facility will also remove some of the burden off the Princess Margaret Hospital and Rand Memorial Hospital as residents will not have to travel to those facilities for certain surgical procedures. They can have it done right here at home while receiving specialist treatment as part of the Public Hospitals Authority network,” Dr. Minnis added.
By Matt Maura
Bahamas Information Services