By DENISE MAYCOCK
Tribune Freeport Reporter
SIX weeks of renovations and improvements to the Hawksbill Clinic, costing almost $200,000, will start next Tuesday after the government and hospital officials signed a contract yesterday with Pinnacle Investment Construction Company Ltd.
Grand Bahama Minister Michael Darville said that the clinic, which was built in 1967 and serves 4,000 residents in the communities of Hawksbill, Hunters, Pinder’s Point, Lewis Yard and Mack Town, is in need of renovation.
“The remediation and renovation of the Hawksbill Clinic will not only improve the quality of service these communities will experience in their primary care health facility,” Dr Darville said, “but the proposed scope of work is part and parcel of the strategic plan for the development of health infrastructure for Grand Bahama which will bring our public healthcare facilities – as well as the services we offer – in line with the demands of Grand Bahamians and on a broader scale, the national healthcare policy of the Government of the Bahamas.”
He indicated that improvements to healthcare facilities in Grand Bahama, particularly those in Central, East and West Grand Bahama, are a priority for the Ministry of Grand Bahama and the Public Hospitals Authority (PHA).
Dr Darville said the contract “reflects the vision and priorities of the Government’s national healthcare strategy. It is a strategy that demands the standardisation of healthcare infrastructure and services across our national network of public healthcare clinics in preparation for National Health Insurance which launches January 2016.”
He said public clinics will form an integral part of the initiative providing access to primary health care, as well as serving as wellness centres with a key role in disease prevention, health education, chronic disease management and rehabilitation of patients.
Dr Darville also indicated that government will extend hours at the clinic in Eight Mile Rock to help mitigate the increasing demand for hospital care in Freeport. Clinic hours will be extended at Hawksbill from 9am to 9pm.
The clinic in Hawksbill is staffed by three doctors, 16 nursing staff and allied health professionals and six clerical and administrative support staff.
The areas to be renovated comprise a 50-seat waiting room, 12-seat sub-waiting rooms, physician office, nurse manager’s office, work rooms for four community nurses, six examination and treatment rooms, asthma bay with two units, pharmacy, stat laboratory area, clinical level X-ray room, three dental suites, overnight nurse’s accommodation, immunisation room, dressing room, consultation and counselling room, and a 12-bed community intermediate care unit as well as physician and nurses residences.
The scope of the works to be carried out will include electrical works, installation of interior and exterior lights, mechanical works, installation of a new air-conditioning unit, major repairs to ceiling and roof, which includes entire roof re-shingling, new floors and painting.
Present for the contract signing at the Ministry for Grand Bahama were Dr Darville, Frank Smith, PHA chairman, Herbert Brown, PHA Managing Director, Dr Paul Ward, Medical Chief of Staff at Grand Bahama Health Services and Melissa Williams-Edwards of Pinnacle Investment Construction.