FREEPORT, BAHAMAS — Governor General C A Smith and his wife, Lady Smith, were escorted on a tour of the newly renovated Rand Memorial Hospital yesterday.
The tour was part of the 22nd Annual Governor General’s Visit to Grand Bahama Health Services and was held under the theme “Expressing Gratitude and Inspiring Hope in a Supportive and Healthy Environment”.
During his address to a small gathering due to COVID-19 protocols, Smith likened frontline workers to MVPs, but in this case, he said, they are very important people, as though working under challenges and adverse conditions due to the destruction of Hurricane Dorian in 2019, they continued to provide “outstanding, caring and professional service to patients”.
Smith said: “For many of you, the loss from Dorian is still evident in your lives, as I am told that many of you still await assistance. This, added to the personal loss of family members and friends, has, undoubtedly, scarred your hearts, but yet you are here — day in and day out, seeking to give the very best of yourselves to those most in need.”
He added: “I am proud to say that while this pandemic may have shaken the foundation of the Grand Bahama Health Services, clearly it could not destroy the indomitable spirit of its staff.
“Many of you, especially those who work on the frontlines, have come face-to-face with the death stare of this fatal virus. You have seen your own colleagues fight for their very lives following exposure and infection. You have willingly accepted the isolation and quarantine protocols of this pandemic, and you have sacrificed time with your families to serve the human family first.
“You are indeed the real heroes. To use a sports reference, the professionals and allied workers of the Grand Bahama Health Services are the real MVPs (most valuable persons).”
The governor general then thanked the many partners and donors who have contributed to restoring healthcare infrastructure and services throughout the island.
As the holiday season gets into full swing, Smith encouraged residents to adhere to safety protocols to prevent the spread of the coronavirus by wearing masks, washing hands and sanitizing, social distancing and limiting the number of people at gatherings.
Also present for the ceremony and tour were Minister of State for Disaster Preparedness, Management and Reconstruction Iram Lewis; Minister of State for Finance Kwasi Thompson; East Grand Bahama MP Peter Turnquest; West Grand Bahama and Bimini MP Pakesia Parker-Edgecombe; Public Hospitals Authority Managing Director Catherine Weech; Grand Bahama Health Services Administrator Sharon Williams; and other senior executives.