NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Less than two years after it opened, the Eleuthera Medical Center has reported its membership topped 700 residents this month.
The center, located near Governor’s Harbour in Central Eleuthera, was founded in partnership with the non-profit group Eleuthera Community Healthcare Initiative.
In a recent press release, the uptick in membership was partly attributed to the addition of new services including x-ray capability and upcoming dental care.
The upgrades support its existing services including ultrasounds, chiropractic care, general practice, pediatric, obstetrics & gynecology, health coaching, onsite stat labs and emergency treatment.
“The response with which we have been met and the welcome we have received has been beyond anything we imagined, but speaks to the need for reliable, sophisticated health and wellness care, especially on a Family Island where, in most cases, medical services are not as readily available as they would be in the capital,” said Dr. Arlington Lightbourne.
Lightbourne founded the Bahamas Wellness Health System which operates the Wellness Clinic on Collins Avenue near Doctor’s Hospital in Nassau.
He said adding x-ray capability was critical.
“This was a major investment on the part of the community-owned clinic and one that was urgently needed,” Lightbourne continued.
“Every time we had to tell someone they had to fly to Nassau for an x-ray because they might have a fracture, it was heartbreaking.
“The cost, the pain of having to fly when you are already injured and the time between the injury and the setting of a bone if there is a fracture was an unbearable situation to put people through.”
In addition to the $50,000+ in equipment and software, Eleuthera Medical Center has contracted an experienced board certified radiologist and an X-Ray technician for support.
“We have experienced a number of firsts for Family Island medical services in a very short period of time, and I have to thank the entire community that has supported us and our hard-working staff,” said Lightbourne.
Among Eleuthera Medical Clinic’s achievements – an expansion of a roster of rotating physicians and medical professionals.
What started out in August 2018 with one doctor and an occasional substitute is now up to 12 physicians including a psychiatrist, a chiropractor, urologist and childhood specialist.
Dental services in a nearby location are slated to start in January, the release stated.
The center is also in the process to become one of only a hand full of NHI-Approved labs in The Bahamas.
The clinic’s business plan combines revenue from patients using health insurance or self-paying along with membership-based provision of services.
Members pay $40 a month, entitling them to unlimited visits, labs and an annual physical.
The clinic’s emergency room is open on a seven-day, 24-hour basis as needed.
Lightbourne’s passion for wellness, the release stated, is rooted in years of practice in the emergency rooms of Princess Margaret Hospital and Doctor’s Hospital, where he witnessed case after case of crises caused by poor choices and unhealthy lifestyle.
“Heart attacks, high blood pressure, cancer are all preventable diseases that we can wipe out just by the choices we make and I vow to do my part to persuade people that they can make the right choices and lead full, healthy lives,” said Lightbourne.
“If I can do that on a daily basis through a clinic in Eleuthera filling a need and with the coaches and other staff in Nassau and we can make a difference, bit by bit, in the health of our Bahamian people, we will have accomplished God’s work.”