By MORGAN ADDERLEY
Tribune Staff Reporter
THE Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation will shortly present the hospital with a “number of” dialysis machines, PMH Foundation chairman Dr Richard Demeritte announced yesterday.
The Foundation, which is neither aligned to nor a part of the Public Hospital’s Authority, has already purchased some of these machines. They should be coming “within a month”, the chairman noted.
Dr Demeritte made these remarks while speaking at a bed donation presentation yesterday at PMH. The Foundation donated 25 new beds to the hospital to replace old patient beds. “The donation of the 25 new beds that we are giving to the PMH today is a cost of over $90,000 - funds we raised for this particular occasion,” Dr Demeritte said.
“And let me also assure you, in (a) very short time, we propose also to give the PMH a number of dialysis machines. We recognise that diabetes seem to be a growing and a very difficult thing in our country. And we must be in a position to be able to handle all those cases as they come about. So very shortly we (will) come forward and make a presentation again of dialysis machines to the hospital.”
Dr Demeritte later expounded on these remarks, explaining the context of this decision and providing a time frame of the equipment’s arrival. “The Foundation asked the PMH to let us have what is called a ‘wish list,’” he said.
“They know best what equipment they need and then we go as a Foundation out to try and find donors to produce those things. Dialysis…we know that that is a very needed equipment in The Bahamas, because high blood pressure, as you know, covers our land a whole lot.
“So we’re trying to facilitate the PMH in having sufficient dialysis beds available, that when the time comes around and people need the assistance, it’s there.
“Dialysis takes a long time, I think it’s three times a week, and probably 2-3 hours a time, so we could never have too many dialysis beds and that’s one of the things that we are concentrating on now to make sure that we help to cover that aspect of health.”
Last September, Health Minister Dr Duane Sands described PMH as grappling with an ongoing “crisis” in its dialysis unit.
“Dialysis has been a huge challenge for more than 10 years,” he explained at the time. “We have a dialysis unit at (PMH) that was designed for 125 patients.”
Instead, he noted, the hospital caters to nearly 200 people who need renal therapy.