By RASHAD ROLLE
Tribune Staff Reporter
THE Public Hospitals Authority signed an agreement yesterday for $7.5m worth of diagnostic imaging services to upgrade and expand its capacity ahead of National Health Insurance’s introduction.
Health Minister Dr Perry Gomez suggested that the equipment will be adequate in sustaining healthcare until a new generation of equipment is produced.
The PHA entered into the agreement with International Med-X Limited Liability Company, which supplies medical, dental and hospital equipment.
The equipment includes two MRC scanners 1.5T, two 64 slice CT scanners, 1 16-CT scanner, four digital radiography systems, two radiography/fluoroscopy systems, three mobile X-Ray units and six ultrasound scanners.
“We will allow for the replacement of the present analogue equipment and put in place state-of-the-art digital equipment, resulting in greater efficiency and easy access to patient records at our public hospitals,” Dr Gomez said.
“The agreement will not only replace aging equipment, but the procurement of two new CT scan machines, along with two new MRI machines and other equipment will allow for the full digitalisation of the Princess Margaret Hospital in New Providence and the RAND Memorial Hospital in Grand Bahama.”
PHA Managing Director Herbert Brown also spoke about some other upgrades being made to improve healthcare access and coverage in the country, including major upgrades to the Rand Memorial Hospital in Grand Bahama.
“Within a matter of weeks we will go out to tender to facilitate the upgrade of the maternity ward (at Princess Margaret Hospital),” he said. “This is significant not only in terms of infrastructure upgrade but it will allow us to align the facilities in a way not done before. We will upgrade the Accident and Emergency department (as well, which is) badly in need of significant upgrade.”
Mr Brown estimated that it would cost about $14m to upgrade the Accident & Emergency section and about $13m to upgrade the Maternity Ward, although he said both prices could shift depending on the tendering process.
He added that the PHA will significantly upgrade its ambulance fleet, with the first ten of 25 ambulances expected to be deployed throughout New Providence soon.
This, he said, will cost $2.4m while additional engagement of staff will cost $2m.