'Unacceptable' malfunction has delayed surgeries at PMH

Princess Margaret Hospital Critical Care Block

Princess Margaret Hospital Critical Care Block


Tribune Staff Reporter


MALFUNCTIONING air-conditioning units in the $100m Critical Care Block at the Princess Margaret Hospital have stalled surgeries in the last few weeks, prompting Free National Movement Leader Dr Hubert Minnis to criticise the government for the “unacceptable” situation.

“As a doctor and the former minister of health, I am appalled by the alarming reports coming from Princess Margaret Hospital that there has not been air conditioning in the operating rooms for two weeks,” Dr Minnis said in a statement. “It is unacceptable that patients are being turned away from their scheduled procedures and told to go to Doctors Hospital. Princess Margaret Hospital serves those most in need, some who cannot afford health insurance.

“How can this government ignore the pleas of patients and doctors who have been crying out for help? A functioning hospital for the care of all Bahamians is a basic necessity, yet through the continued ineptitude of this PLP government, many are being forced to go without. We are not a third world country,” Dr Minnis added. “Bahamians have rights and expectations - the right to accessible healthcare and the expectation that it is quality care. They deserve nothing less, but this government is forcing them to delay needed surgery or spend additional funds at a private facility.”

Tosheena Robinson-Blair, granddaughter of 89-year-old Elaine Williams who has been awaiting surgery on a leg since September 13, spoke to this newspaper of her concern about a delay of the operation.

She questioned the Public Hospital Authority’s (PHA) plan of action for patients and their families who have been affected and may not be able to afford an alternative option other than the public hospital.

“My grandmother broke her leg in a fall. She’s supposed to have gotten surgery already but we were told that the air condition units were not working in the operating room so it was cancelled with no new date for her surgery,” Ms Robinson-Blair said.

“She’s in good spirits and I must say that the staff at the hospital, doctors and nurses, have been completely professional and made her as comfortable as possible. It’s not their fault but the family and other families that are likely going to experience these delays just want to know what is the hospital’s plan B?

“Right now, her leg is elevated on her bed,” Ms Robinson-Blair added. “She’s receiving great care from the staff but I’m worried (about) her muscles deteriorating if surgery does not occur soon. I do want to stress that she’s receiving great care and she’s on pain meds so pain is a non-issue but this is something that needs to be expedited.”

Sources close to the hospital attributed the equipment breakdown to recent power outages and said that even with a generator, not much of a difference was made.

Yesterday PHA Director of Communications Judy Terrell-Hamilton confirmed to The Tribune that there were issues with the air-conditioning units, however she could not say what the cause was.

“Our efforts to rectify the matter have been significantly hampered by the inclement weather this week but the hospital and PHA are doing the best we can in the current circumstances to get the units back up and running,” she said.

However, she opted not to comment on the statement issued by Dr Minnis.

The Killarney MP also called on the government to “focus on fixing this problem immediately,” and expressed concern for Family Island patients who would be financially affected by the delays.

The opposition leader called on the government to “inform the public of what steps it is taking to fix the problem.”

“Silence is not leadership. Ignoring a problem won’t make it go away. The FNM will continue to stand with the people and the patients being turned away until this matter is rectified,” Dr Minnis said.


John 7 years, 7 months ago

Don't they have a company here that rents air conditioning units over short term. Units that can be used while the hospitals units are being operated on and bandaged up.They claim that the problem is getting parts for the malfunctioned units. Also with online shopping, it is possible to locate any part within minutes and have it shipped to the Bahamas within days, so the weeks of no air conditioning for a major health care facility.


ohdrap4 7 years, 7 months ago

the online vendors do not pay bribes.


BMW 7 years, 7 months ago

They should spare parts on hand! Typical third world bananna republic.


sheeprunner12 7 years, 7 months ago

If the Bahamian people cannot see how dangerous a PLP government is to them by now ....... then will they wait until they wind up in Paradise purgatory??????

Ingraham's greatest sin was overspending $100 million to fix our artery roads after 100 years of malfunction ........ these PLP jokers have overspent $2 billion and nothing seems to work at all anymore!!!!!!!


Well_mudda_take_sic 7 years, 7 months ago

The next time Christie or any other PLP MP requires medical surgery of any kind, they should be required to have it at PMH rather than an elitist hospital in the U.S. Christie especially deserves to have the heavy sweat off of the brow of a PMH surgeon fall into a deep surgical wound cut anywhere on his body, but ideally on or about his chest! A scalpal that slips at a very critical moment in the hands of the PMH surgeon would obviously be a plus to the contaminant sweat! I imagine though that Christie's body would have a very serious allergic reaction to any sweat pouring on to him from Minnis's forehead!


sheeprunner12 7 years, 7 months ago

Minnis is a gynie ........... Perry may be a switcher but een no tranny


lionfish 7 years, 7 months ago

They are inept. If my air-condition does not work I fix it pronto. Come on this is really silly.


quietone 7 years, 7 months ago

Well my air conditioners, PC and refrigerator are all hooked up to a quality surge protector. I did this over a year ago after an auto mechanic neighbour told me that he has all his equipment hooked up to surge protectors. And today the Prime Minister stated that what caused the air conditioners to malfunction at PMH was that the electricity had been cutting off too often.

If just one of our MPs was a businessman or engineer they would have known that a surge protector block should have been installed at PMH which would have protected all their equipment from being damaged or destroyed from power outage . I seriously believe that all members of our parliament should have at least 2 trades or professions and many of them should be engineers or businessmen. I won't vote for anyone who does not have at least one of these professions... lawyers and doctors seem to be useless as parliamentarians nowadays!!!


ohdrap4 7 years, 7 months ago

This is My NHI.

What is yours?


ThisIsOurs 7 years, 7 months ago

Grammy says, she has to wait in the overcrowded ward because BEC broke the AC.


Publius 7 years, 7 months ago

In addition to rank incompetence, one must recognize that the reason the Cabinet would not be moved to address such issues is they do not get medical treatment at PMH so it does not matter to them. Coupled with incompetence it truly is as simple as that.


Socrates 7 years, 7 months ago

i have referred before to the failed trio of BEC, Bahamasair and W&SC. i dont know how i overlooked PMH... everything govt is associated with or owns is a collosal failure. PMH sounds like what we see on the news in Aleppo Syria... my God!


SP 7 years, 7 months ago

................................. Check The Spec's & Follow The Money Trail .................................

Catastrophic a/c failure in properly quantified systems after such a short time is dam near impossible!

What units were specified compared to those actually installed and by whom?


bandit 7 years, 7 months ago

This is unacceptable isn't this the new wing of the hospital?


GrassRoot 7 years, 6 months ago

yea. it has kind of a cool design, no?


proudloudandfnm 7 years, 6 months ago

Honestly. The PLP are incapable of doing ANYTHING!!

What the hell?

Air conditioning should never take more than 24 hours to repair or replace.

The PLP simply does not care about Bahamians...

Perry really should be prosecuted for this term....


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