By NICO SCAVELLA
Tribune Staff Reporter
REPAIRS to the country’s three main public healthcare institutions in the wake of Hurricane Matthew will cost more than $700,000, Public Hospitals Authority Managing Director Herbert Brown said yesterday.
Mr Brown said repairs to both the Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) and Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre in New Providence, as well as The Rand Memorial Hospital in Freeport, Grand Bahama, will cost an estimated $740,000.
Mr Brown said the PHA is currently seeking to solicit the necessary funding to cover the expenses. However, he said the PHA has made “temporary repairs” to the roofs of each of those facilities in the interim.
Mr Brown also announced that the planned renovations to PMH’s Maternity Ward will be placed on hold until after repairs are made to remedy the damage the hospital sustained from Hurricane Matthew.
He said the PHA is currently utilising its contractor for the Maternity Ward to also assist with repairs to the hospital’s roof.
Mr Brown also said the clinic in West Grand Bahama that was severely damaged during Hurricane Matthew has since been “taken out of operation.” However, he said the PHA has identified another facility for use and that clinical services for West Grand Bahama will be restored by next Monday.
In the interim, Mr Brown said the PHA has consolidated the services for both the West End clinic and the Eight Mile Rock clinic. Residents of West End will have to use the Eight Mile Rock clinic until repairs to the area’s clinic have been completed.
Mr Brown also said Davies House in Grand Bahama, which is responsible for mammography and opthalmology, had also sustained “some manner of damage” as a result of Hurricane Matthew. However, Mr Brown said repair work has already commenced on that building.
“We could have had much more severe damage if we didn’t have a plan in place prior to the storm,” Mr Brown added. “And I think it was as a result of the plan we’ve always had in place. We started our hurricane preparation since May of this year, and as a direct result of the plan we were able as you can see to be in a position to restore services almost immediately following the storm. So we are very happy.”
When asked by a reporter for an update on planned renovations to the Maternity Ward, Mr Brown said: “Of course the hurricane set us back a little bit, because what we’re doing now is we’re using the contractor that we’ve had for the Maternity Ward to assist us with some of the repairs to the roof.
“So our focus now is being able to repair all of the damages that we’ve had and once that’s done we will then focus again on the Maternity Ward.”
He added: “I must say that even up to yesterday our contractors were mobilizing for the maternity ward. So they’re trying to do both at the same time. So we’re very pleased with the progress we’re making so far.”
Last month, the government held a contract signing ceremony for major renovations for the Maternity and Male Surgical Wards as well as the Legacy Entrance at PMH.
The contract, valued at nearly $15m, was signed with a Texas-based company headed by a Bahamian architect and will begin the process of bringing PMH up to world standards, according to Prime Minister Perry Christie.