THE renovated Hawksbill Clinic, upgraded at a cost of over $300,000, reopened yesterday after months of closure and will offer immediate and material improvement to the quality of life for the more than 4,000 residents of the Hunters, Pinder’s Point, Lewis Yard, Mack Town and Hawksbill areas of Grand Bahama. The work at Hawksbill Clinic follows renovation to the clinics at McCleans Town, High Rock, Sweetings Cay and Eight Mile Rock and Minister for Grand Bahama, Dr Michael Darville said “as part of a phased development plan, the public health system on Grand Bahama will act as a template for the modernisation and enhancement of healthcare across the Bahamas”.
The recent broad-based upgrade to health services on the island will also feature the expansion of operating hours for the Eight Mile Rock Clinic starting on January 13.
Dr Darville said the upgrades to the Hawksbill Clinic are in alignment with international standards and the clinic is now equipped to handle acute communicable/infectious disease cases, such as Ebola. He explained that the Hawksbill Clinic was selected for the upgrade as it can be effectively isolated for the containment of any potential infectious disease case, as there are a limited number of houses and commercial enterprises within the immediate vicinity of the clinic, allowing for protection of the surrounding communities.
Managing Director of the Public Hospitals Authority (PHA) Herbert Brown said the scope of work undertaken at the clinic had been extensive – including electrical refurbishment, installation of interior and exterior lights, drainage improvement, installation of new air conditioning units, repairs to the roof and the entire interior of the building, new equipment and more. The renovations cost $327,906. He added that the PHA had undertaken the recruitment of doctors, nurses, pharmacists, support and clerical staff to effect the seamless transition to extended hours for the clinic and that Dr Sally Taylor, a Bahamian trained as a family medicine physician, will lead the team once she takes up residence on site next month.
Mr Brown confirmed that from February 15 the PHA will introduce a general practice service at Pearce Plaza on Coral Road from 5pm to 9pm and that the new services will, for now, address the issue of long wait time for Urgent Care at the Accident and Emergency Unit of the Rand Memorial Hospital.