PHA official says healthcare system remains under immense pressure amid COVID surge

PHA official says healthcare system remains under immense pressure amid COVID surge
Princess Margaret Hospital.

Rolle: 5-10% of staff quarantined 

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Public Hospitals Authority (PHA) Chairman Julian J Rolle stated that the country cannot sustain the continued rise of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations “for much longer”, adding that both resources and staff remain stretched beyond capacity.

During a virtual PHA press conference on September 10, he noted that the virus has placed strain on public healthcare, leaving the system what he described as “overburdened” and under “unprecedented stress”.

“Our doctors and nurses are worn out with the unrelenting pressure being caused by COVID 19,” he said.

The PHA chairman pointed out that about five to 10 percent of staff is quarantined due to exposure to the virus; that some staff members have had multiple quarantines; and the number of staff unable to perform duties due to quarantine has now reached the point where it is becoming difficult to properly staff facilities.

Due to the COVID-19 response, all available spaces are being used — extending into the food court of Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH), rendering acute care on the porch.

At Rand Memorial Hospital on Grand Bahama, PHA officials said similar challenges are being experienced at facilities there.

Health officials reminded the public to adhere to safety protocols in combating the COVID-19 virus: wear masks, wash and sanitize hands, practice social distancing of remaining six feet apart in public places and be encouraged to get vaccinated.