NASSAU, BAHAMAS – The public has long criticized Princess Margaret Hospital for its substandard service; however, the public hospital is set to begin the construction of a new Accident and Emergency Department in the upcoming months.
Minister of Health, Dr. Duane Sands, has confirmed a total transformation and reorganization of Nassau’s busiest emergency room, along with renovations to some community clinics.
“The big project is a major facelift to the Accident and Emergency with expansion of new equipment, new staff, new service, but at the same time, to improve the service at the Elizabeth Estates Clinic and a physical makeover at South Beach,” said Sands in a recent interview with Eyewitness News Online. “As it relates to when the actual construction will start, I expect certainly by the first quarter of 2019.”
Dr. Sands said that the 67-year-old hospital struggles to meet the demands for healthcare with its existing infrastructure and obsolete fee schedule.
“We’re asking a facility that was designed to go at 10 miles per hour to travel at 75 miles per hour,” he explained. “We estimate that the hospitals lose about 40 million dollars a year for unbilled services.”
Patients that visit the busy emergency room are becoming quite irate and are beginning to scrutinize the current government.
“I was up from 5 o’clock this morning. I haven’t even seen a doctor yet,” one patient said.
“I have a stone in my kidney and I’m in pain. Everyone is running around like a chicken with its head cut off. They need to be trained. They might have new facilities, but they are the same old,” another patient exclaimed. “They need to get it together in there. You will die in there. Our Prime Minister is on his 3rd strike.”
According to Dr. Sands, the aforementioned projects will take up to 18 months to complete and will cost the government approximately 10 million dollars.
“From start to finish, we’re looking at another 12 to 18 months. We anticipate the full cost of all of those projects combined to be almost 10 million dollars,” he stated.
Dr. Sands assures that the forthcoming upgrades will engender a significant improvement to wait-times for emergency services.
This story was written by Matthew Moxey – Eyewitness News Online Intern