Self-Sufficient Mini-Hospital For Eleuthera

GOVERNOR’S HARBOUR, Eleuthera — The mini-hospital scheduled for Palmetto Point, will be self-contained and will provide the central basis of care particularly South Eleuthera, Project Planners said.

Project Architect, Mr. Alvin Rolle, said the mini-hospital will be divided into three components: an Administrative wing, an Outpatient Wing and an Inpatient Wing. Included in the design is a full morgue, which has adjoining Emergency Medical Services that will be available to citizens 24 hours per day, seven days per week.

The hospital will be built on 16 acres of land, which planners say will allow for expansion in the future, if necessary.

Mr. Rolle, was joined at the Town Meeting by Minister of State for Legal Affairs and Member of Parliament for South Eleuthera, Mr. Damien Gomez and Dr. Baldwin Carey, Consultant, Medical Facilities, National Insurance Board and a former Director of Public Health, Department of Public Health.

“This hospital is intended to be self-contained with a generator and its own water services that, in the event you have a hurricane or some other disastrous event, the hospital will be able to function independently of the other public services. I think you know that is very essential on any island where we have downed electrical wires, telephones, etcetera,” Mr. Rolle said.

“On the grounds will be provided a heliport so if you have an emergency on the island which stops fixed-wing aircraft from operating, a helicopter can come in, pick up the patient and take them to Nassau for full medical attention,” Mr. Rolle added.

Mr. Rolle said architects and medical planners at the National Insurance Board tried to anticipate the needs of the community while designing the facility.

“Based on our instructions and what the island requires, we developed a floor plan that we believe represents the desires and needs of the people of this island,” Mr. Rolle added.

A former Director of Public Health with the Department of Public Health, Ministry of Health, Dr. Carey said the construction of the mini-hospital, or community hospital, as it is sometimes referred to, will help to eliminate some of the current healthcare challenges facing the community of Central Eleuthera.

(Doctor Carey was responsible for the provision of medical services in the existing clinics, including Governor’s Harbour during his tenure as Director of Public Health. He said healthcare providers have had “a number of problems” with the Governor’s Harbour Clinic “from time-to-time.”)

“Now I have the opportunity of being on the other end of hopefully building new clinics and/or facilities which will deal with the kinds of concerns which have been raised over the years which we feel will provide at least some of the need, and I stress some of the need, for the island.”

Dr. Carey said while it would be “impossible” to provide every service in every Family Island due to the fiscal costs and the inability to provide staffing for every type of service, healthcare planners and strategists will put in place facilities that will provide those communities “with as many services as possible.”

“We that we should be in a position in major centres such as Governor’s Harbour, to stabilise trauma patients who are in trauma or very ill and transport them to Nassau as soon as possible,” he said.

“Now, we obviously cannot have cardiac and trauma surgeons in every island, but if we can have the health staff trained to the level to stabilise trauma patients – and most of them already are – to stabilise the patients and then airlift them to New Providence utilising probably helicopter rides in the case of Governor’s Harbour, because it is relatively close,” Dr. Carey added.

By Matt Maura
Bahamas Information Services

Caption: Residents of Eleuthera peruse the plans for the construction of a mini-hospital in Palmetto Point during a Town Hall Meting hosted by the National Insurance Board Thursday night (November 15) in Governor’s Harbour, Eleuthera. (BIS Photo/Patrick Hanna)