Maternity Plans 'Not Good Enough'

Health Minister Dr Duane Sands.

Health Minister Dr Duane Sands.


Tribune Staff Reporter


HEALTH Minister Dr Duane Sands said the planned renovation for the Maternity Ward at the Princess Margaret Hospital is “not good enough” and he is pushing for a new ward to be built rather than “attempting to upgrade” the old existing building.

In an interview with The Tribune, Dr Sands said the hospital needs to move into the 21st century and while the new plan for the Maternity Ward is “reasonable, we can do better.”

Last year, the former Progressive Liberal Party government signed a $14.9m contract for the renovations of the Maternity and Male Surgical Wards at PMH.

In opposition at the time, Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis advocated heavily for the upgrades to be delayed as he felt the timing of renovations would negatively impact patient care.

However, then Prime Minister Perry Christie said at the time the Maternity Ward has not been renovated for over 50 years and women should not be forced to give birth in “undesirable” circumstances because previous governments did not have the will or the finances to upgrade the facility.

During a tour of PMH shortly after winning the election, Dr Minnis promised a new maternity wing.

While he was short on details, he stressed that Bahamian women and children deserved the best and declared that the new wing would be on par or greater than the multi-million-dollar Critical Care Block.

“There are things we need to do to get the ward up to standard, having beds is one of them so women don’t have to be discharged from the hospital as quickly as they are and we will be at an accepted standard with the rest of the world,” Dr Sands said.

“Right now, parents cannot stay in the hospital with their sick babies, with their sick children, except on the private ward. In Doctors Hospital, the rule is that you have to stay with your child, right next door they can do that but parents in PMH do not have that comfort. We are fixing that in the renovation but to be candid I don’t believe that the planned development goes far enough, it just is not good enough.

“What we need to do is to move our care into the 21st century. The original plan was reasonable but I am not convinced it’s good enough.”

Dr Sands said he is pushing towards a new maternity wing, not just renovating the existing space.

“The issue is how to get the money and how to do the ward in a fiscally responsible fashion. Now that the new board is empaneled and these ideas will be developed in earnest and we will flesh out these plans. There is an awful lot to be done. I spoke with the prime minister about moving on some of these issues in health. There are a lot of demands and the people’s perception on quality of life hinders on the level of health care we are able to provide. We have to be creative and get it done and because certainly what exists now is unacceptable. It is the best we can do now, but what we are saying is acceptable for the people is nothing short of embarrassing.”


killemwitdakno 2 years ago

With pregnant visitors, you will need more space anyway.

Bring back the midwives too. God, the thought of having a baby at home sounds awful.


TheMadHatter 2 years ago

Shut down the maternity ward at PMH completely and weld it shut. Anyone who doesn't have enough money to pay the fees at Doctor's Hospital should have their baby in the bush - since that's where they plan to basically raise their child anyway.

The foolishness of poor people having poor children needs to stop. That will quickly bring an end to the droves of poor people all around the world.

Why would anyone want to bring a new human being into the world to live the life of a poor person anyway? That is human cruelty and should be outlawed. But even if not outlawed, people should have enough common sense not to do it on their own.

There is no law against consuming 10 bottles of Tylenol pills, but I don't do it as a result of my own awareness.

Anyone who doesn't understand this, should GOOGLE child mining in DRC (Congo) for cobalt rocks. Who brought those children into the world? Why haven't their parents been given the electric chair?

Who are the children in the Bahamas outside the supermarkets begging for money? If I was hungry I would beg for money too, so I don't blame them. But why haven't their parents been locked up?

If this new Government just coming into office thinks anywhere in the top ten of our problems in this country is that we need a new maternity ward (and apparently they do), then I'm already planning to vote PLP next time, because these set don't have a clue. At least the PLP knew better that to try and make our problems worse with more people that we can't afford to feed. Singe mother subsidy for FOOD now is like around $150 per month. Really? That's what we think children (and mothers) should be eating in this country? So after Sand doubles the size of this problem, will they only get $75 cheques?


SP 2 years ago

Before throwing more money into the pot aiming for bigger and better, serious consideration must be given to the "WHO FOR" are we willing to speed deeper into debt, how will additional funding be repaid and by whom!

The well-known phenomenon of illegal/legal Haitians overwhelming the maternity ward and other health care facilities must be a major part of the equation or we would only be succeeding in giving more Haitians the incentive to breed and seek free medical care in the Bahamas.

PM Sheriff Minnis must first take a step back and put policies in place to resolve this issue of Illegals riding Bahamians like jackass's and abusing social service systems.

How much tax payers dollars are spent and what are the associated combined costs of illegal migrants for health care, education, repatriation, immigration, defense force, policing, illegal employment, vehicular hit and runs, crime, loss of tax revenue, environmental damage, litter, drug and arms running, free water consumption, human smuggling, electricity theft and a very efficiently organized parallel economy which is second to none the biggest menace to the national security of our country?

Obviously, these vexing issues cause the Bahamas to expend or lose untold $100's millions annually that we can ill afford after decades of Pillage Loot Plunder and Foreign National Movement stupendous gross mismanagement and alleged pilfering from every imaginable sector.

It makes absolutely no sense to simply carry on as before.

Best practices must first be sought and implemented. Serious checks and balances aimed at curbing illegal migrant activities, reversing the loss of revenue and cost burden of tax paying Bahamians.

Alternatively, we must ask the question "who are we building this better Bahamas for?"


DDK 2 years ago

You are too right, SP, successive Governments seem to be unwilling or unable to tackle the illegal immigrant and migration problems in our country. Yes they are problems, BIG problems. It seems to be politically incorrect to raise the issue. Obviously the big reason is VOTES. None-the- less, the issue must be raised and tackled, legally and humanely, within the parameters of international law. The situation is not GETTING worse, it IS worse and must be confronted head-on AND diplomatically by this Administration.


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