Bahamas Planning $200 Million Investment in Hospitals
The Government of the Bahamas is poised to invest almost $200 million in the infrastructural expansion and improvement of the country’s hospitals beginning later this month.
The process is expected to take place over a two-year period and will include an $18 million investment in an Electronic Medical Records System, and a $17 million investment in upgrades and expansions to the maternity ward at the Princess Margaret Hospital that will nearly triple the space of the current ward.
Public Hospitals Authority Managing Director Herbert Brown said that the introduction of the Health Information System will allow public health officials to address one of the significant areas of transformation in the public healthcare system “with regards to the intermittently inadequate quantities of pharmaceuticals in our hospitals and clinics.”
The new system will provide the PHA with the ability to track every pharmaceutical item– from distribution from its new main warehouse to the hospitals or any other point of dispensation.
“This will allow us to top-up the minimum order level of drugs without having to wait for a request from the wards or clinics,” Brown said. “To carry out this agenda, a new pharmaceutical top-up Unit will be established at the Princess Margaret Hospital and subsequently at the Rand Memorial Hospital resulting in a more efficient method of maintaining the required inventory.”
Brown said the contract for upgrades and expansion to the maternity ward is expected to be executed within the next two weeks and that the project is expected to benefit conditions for both patients and staff.
“If you were to visit the Maternity Ward of the Princess Margaret Hospital today, you would notice that there are cramped conditions for patients, inadequate space, and that the working conditions for our staff is less than adequate.”
“Being able to expand the space to bring our maternity ward up to international standards – which requires that you have a certain amount of space between each bed — for the first time in the history of the Princess Margaret Hospital, is going to be a significant factor,” Brown said.
The renovation will also allow for the construction of two additional operating theaters.
“What this means is that we will be able to move from seven operating theaters to nine operating theaters at the Princess Margaret Hospital,” Brown said. “This will allow for services that might be required in the maternity ward — rather than having to go to the Main Operating Theatre — those procedures can be done on the maternity ward. This is also going to be very significant.
“Additionally, we would have almost tripled the space that the Maternity and Obstetrics and Gynaecology will have and so that too is going to be very significant.”
Expansions and upgrades to the Accident and Emergency Department at the Princess Margaret Hospital are also in the works, along with the implementation of a 24-hour patient advocacy service.
This part of the project will bring the department in line with the government’s vision for a modern day A&E Department.
“We have had many, many challenges, and the Accident and Emergency which today is certainly not designed for what is expected of healthcare in this modern Bahamas, will be significantly transformed,” Brown said. “In fact, the tender for A&E is out and we expect the analysis of the tender to be completed shortly. Once that is done we will move expeditiously to begin the construction after formal approval.”