By FARRAH JOHNSON
THE Princess Margaret Hospital’s Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology held a blessing ceremony yesterday for its newly renovated Maternal & Child Health Labour Unit, and also revealed the introduction of a Maternal & Child Health Day Assessment Unit.
Reverend Canon S Sebastian Campbell served as celebrant for the ceremony and prayed over the rooms, equipment and staff of the maternity ward.
“We have all been made in the image and likeness of God … our mission is a mission of the delivery of healthcare which is to restore God’s people to that original image intended by God,” he said.
Addressing the motive behind the renovations, Dr Leon Dupuch, head of the Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, explained the department decided to upgrade the labour ward due to years of complaints regarding poor conditions.
He added the main goal was to make the section “more presentable for the mothers that come there to deliver,” and stated the department spent a total of $25,000 on the renovations.
“We used some of our departmental funds and with the support of the hospital administration, the nursing staff, the Public (Hospitals) Authority and the ministry we’ve managed to upgrade it to what I think is quite a considerable upgrade, and (one) that I think moms would be quite happy with,” he said, a day after Minister of Health Dr Duane Sands took reporters on a tour of the ward.
Renovations in the maternity ward include the replacement of the floor and ceiling tiles, the upgrade of the nurse’s station and a paint job for the entire section.
Bahamian art was also placed on some of the walls for decoration.
Dr Dupuch stated the area could accommodate “about seven or eight patients at one time”, although they have had occasions when they had to accommodate more.
Speaking on the introduction of the day assessment unit, Dr Andrea Griffith-Bowe, director of maternal and child health, said a “stand alone space” was needed to accommodate mothers who were not yet in labour.
She said the hospital had developed a “huge overcrowding problem” in the labour ward, and in response decided to create a separate space for pregnant women not in labour, who still needed assessments.
Dr Griffith-Bowe said the unit will accommodate expecting mothers who had “coughs and colds, ruptured membranes, or who were experiencing pain but were not necessarily in labour.”
She added that the day assessment unit is also equipped with “an ultrasound unit, monitors required for mother and baby, as well as a dedicated staff” to tend to patients.
“What we have introduced is a six-bedded unit. So we have six beds in our day assessment for mothers, and we have another seven labouring beds over here for labouring mothers,” she said.
“So we’ve actually doubled our capacity by doing this renovation,” she said.
Nurse Bertha Sands, area manager for the department, also confirmed that the unit will have the complement of staff needed to run it effectively.
“We have just recently had 14 new midwives who will be entering into the department so this would help us with our cadre of staff,” she said.
Speaking on additional renovations to other divisions of the hospital, Jessica Cartwright, PMH deputy hospital administrator, confirmed there are several other “ongoing projects”.
She added the hospital is “in the middle of completing” a med-surgical unit, and also stated they plan to reinstate beds back into service from that process.
“We have been and the minister has been very clear about the Accident & Emergency Department, and so those two are two of the high ticket important projects we’re taking on for patient care areas and we also have a few others that are on the drawing board,” she said.