Health Minister, the Honourable Dr. Hubert A Minnis on Friday morning participated in a three million dollar contract signing for renovations and expansion to the Operating Theatre Suites at the Rand Memorial Hospital on Grand Bahama Island.
Friday’s signing means the Government is committed to spending some $6 million overall for improvements to the health facility. They had only recently signed a contract for the upgrade and expansion of the Accident and Emergency Unit at the Rand.
Dr. Minnis stressed that his Ministry and the Government is prepared to do what is necessary to keep the Rand operating at a high standard.
He said, “Grand Bahama at this point and time is experiencing a decrease in population, so this is our time to keep the hospital expanding so that when Grand Bahama sees the boom, the Rand would have already been waiting.”
Friday’s signing, which took place in the training centre of the Rand Hospital, saw the contract being awarded to Albacore Construction whose president John Gallagher promised to finish the project well ahead of the scheduled completion date.
The Minister pointed out that Friday’s signing will cause the renovating and reorganising of 4,655 square feet of existing theatre space and 3,699 square feet of new construction, at a cost of $2,999,403.75.
“This is yet another fulfilment of my government’s commitment to improve the quality of healthcare throughout The Bahamas and in particular the Island of Grand Bahama,” Dr. Minnis said.
The health chief recalled that he was in Grand Bahama only recently for the signing of another contract for the much needed renovation and expansion of the Accident and Emergency Department of the Rand Hospital.
“In this regard, I am happy to say that the preliminary work to facilitate the start up of that project will be completed by the end of next week. This will allow for the Accident and Emergency services to be relocated to the temporary site and work on the new Accident and Emergency Department to begin by the second week in August 2010.
“The work on the new Operating Theatre Suite and support services as a result of the contract we are executing this morning will begin on August 16, 2010, and is scheduled to be completed in June 2011,” Dr. Minnis informed.
He stressed that when completed patients can expect vast improvements in the quality of healthcare through enhanced space utilisation and expansion as well as greater efficiency of the existing services.
Dr. Minnis was keen on pointing out that the new state of the art Operating Theatre Suite will address several challenges now being experienced by staff and patients in the following areas: limitation in accommodating major surgeries, lack of adequate facilities to accommodate orthopaedic surgical cases, blocking of surgical in-patient beds by day patient facilities and the need to improve work-flow and infection controls in Central Sterile Supplies Department.
Also equally important the Minister said the improvements will lessen the need to transfer patients to the Princess Margaret Hospital in Nassau because of the lack of adequate and suitable theatre facilities at the Rand and the inconvenience to patients and families.
He said residents in Grand Bahama and the Northern Bahamas will benefit from the following enhanced facilities: two operating theatres, one minor procedure/endoscopy room, three beds for day surgery admission recovery, three beds for post-anaesthesia recovery, day surgery interview room, central sterile supplies department, nurse’s office, doctor’s office, nurse’s station and adequate storage for essential equipment.
Dr. Minnis said, “In keeping with my Government’s thrust toward the expansion of telemedicine, these operating theatres will be equipped with the latest information technology and video capabilities, which will also enhance the teaching/learning experience for our physicians and medical students.”
He again assured the good people of Grand Bahama and the Northern Bahamas that the Government, through the Public Hospitals Authority, will continue to improve the delivery of healthcare to allow them to enjoy the same level of service provided to residents of New Providence.