Exuma, The Bahamas – The signing of a near $14 million contract for Exuma’s new community health facility highlights the continued transformation of the Government’s National Health System said Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Hubert Ingraham.
In addition to initiatives such as the National Prescription Drug Benefit, the Government is continuing with a comprehensive multi-year programme to upgrade and expand health care facilities throughout The Bahamas, he noted.
The Prime Minister presented the keynote address at the official contract signing ceremony for the 32,000 sq. ft. facility to be funded by the National Insurance Board (NIB) and offer full health care services including a morgue, laboratory, and operating theatre to the community of Exuma.
Among dignitaries at the ceremony was the Hon. Neko Grant, Minister of Public Works and Transport; Anthony Moss, MP for Exuma; the Hon. Phenton Neymour, senior public officials, local government representatives, members of the National Insurance Board and Public Hospitals Authority.
“The development of community hospitals is a critical part of my government’s overall strategic plan for the development of the Family Islands. This development includes investing in an array of public services and infrastructure such as airports, roads, ports and on-island access to services such as those offered by the Public Treasury and other government entities,” he said.
Exuma is poised for expanded development inclusive of domestic and foreign investment, he said. There is increased airlift to Great Exuma and growth in the agricultural sector.
Initiatives such as the Back to the Island Campaign will assist with the return of native Exumians to the island of their birth and the Heritage Tourism Initiative will help to facilitate the multimillion dollar heritage tourism sector.
“To spur and sustain this development, my government is committed to building a new port and a by-pass road and other new roads. We will also build a new gymnasium and an airport terminal becoming of your status and standing.
“The new port, hospital facility and bypass road are being built to improve the quality of life of hotel employees travelling to work, mothers receiving pre-natal and neo-natal care, farmers shipping their produce, and small business people seeking to expand their businesses.”
The Prime Minister said there are plans to construct a new administrative complex, a new housing subdivision and a school in close proximity to the hospital just outside of George Town.
Work will begin immediately on the new health centre in Exuma which marks the twenty-first facility to be constructed by NIB in conjunction with the Ministry of Health. A contract will be signed in Abaco on April 10 for the twenty-second facility. Hospitals are also proposed for Eleuthera and Long Island.
The Prime Minister said Exuma’s hospital is of the same size and design of the hospital being constructed in Abaco and is expected to serve the health care needs of Exuma for 20 plus years.