The country’s escalating crime problem is creating more traffic in an already strained Accident and Emergency department of the Princess Margaret Hospital.
According to health minister, Dr. Duane Sands, persons seeking standard care are often put to the side for victims of violent crimes.
“While many of the victims die at the scene,” he said, “you still have a number of people that arrive that require emergency surgery, they consume resources in the intensive care unit, they use blood from the blood bank, they take up spaces in the ward, etc and most of those patients do not contribute much of anything towards the tremendous cost to care for them this is a consequence of the choices that we made as country and the impact of crime on the impact of people with diabetes, and heart problems and stroke cannot be underestimated”.
Dr. Sands also addressed the country’s current nursing shorting which he says has now reached a critical level. He said a panel has been formed to discuss how to keep Bahamian nurses in the country.
“We need to figure out how we can stop the bleeding, recognizing that we will never be able to compete with north America head to head,” said Sands. “So we are looking at ways to modify the experience of nurses who are typically female so that they are more appreciated, so they are more inclined to remain in service in the Bahamas but when you see 600 or so vacancies speak to a serious problem to deliver the central services throughput the Bahamas and while you may be able to replace certain other grades of staff, you cannot provide healthcare without doctors and nurses, you just can’t do it.”
The Health Minister said, if serious decisions are not made, the hospital will not be available for certain services very soon.