By RIEL MAJOR
Tribune Staff Reporter
A CONTRACT worth $3.6m was signed yesterday at Princess Margaret Hospital in an effort to reform and improve urgent and emergency care in New Providence.
Speaking to reporters during a press conference, Minister of Health Dr Duane Sands said the Urgent and Emergency Care Project was launched in 2018 and is focused on a series of phased enhancements in infrastructure, systems, services, training and equipment at PMH’s Emergency Department, the Elizabeth Estates Clinic and the South Beach Health Centre.
Dr Sands said: “Health planners have engaged with engineers, architects, clinical professionals and other stakeholders to design not only infrastructure, but to undertake a comprehensive approach to development of all aspects of healthcare delivery.
“Since the beginning of this year, this phased approach with improvement and expansion works associated with the Urgent and Emergency Care Project at PMH has included the construction of a new patient registration area located closer to the hospital’s main entrance.”
He added: “Improvement works have also been undertaken in the decanted spaces formerly occupied by the Medical Surgical Supplies Department and Central Sterile Supplies Department to facilitate the expansion and upgrading of the Emergency Department.”
Dr Sands said the $3.6m contract signed yesterday is only the first phase of the project for the orthopaedic and wound care areas.
“The improvement works will entail interior and exterior builders work, building code required upgrades to building services upgrades inclusive of fire suppression, CCTV, access control and low voltage infrastructure. Civil works inclusive of site excavation and construction of sidewalks, driveways, primary storm and sewer infrastructure and lighting. “Construction of a new ambulance bay, EMS area, entry lobby and canopy.
“This phase of the project represents major capital works at PMH and symbolises a significant step in the right direction with respect to the sustainable redevelopment of the hospital and the improvement of urgent care and emergency care in the Bahamas. The hospital will be taking all necessary measures to ameliorate the impact of any and all infrastructure works on patients and visitors to PMH.”
He added: “The public is asked to pay attention to all public announcements with respect to hospital and its service and corporate with directions and instructions given during this time.”
Dr Sands said the work for the first phase has commenced and will be completed in 40 weeks.
When asked when phase two will begin and the price tag, Dr Sands said: “It’s going to be staggered.
“I think we had a timeline that anticipated phase two being offset by about eight months but at this point we will have to get back to you on when exactly phase two is likely to start and the actual cost. Roughly we anticipate phase one (at) $3.6m (and) phase two can be as much as anywhere between $5m to $7m.”