Nurse 'had to pay for private COVID test'


Tribune Staff Reporter


A NURSE at the Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre who has COVID-19 says she had to pay $224 for testing at a private facility after waiting since August 10 for her results at the South Beach Clinic.

She has yet to receive the result from the public clinic.

Trained Clinical Nurse Yolande Ramsey, 44, said she first began to experience symptoms the day after Hurricane Isaias.

“We (got) called into work that Sunday. I worked from five until 11 on one ward and then I worked another ward from 11pm to 8.30 that morning,” explained the mother-of-four.

“During baths, about after five o’clock in the morning I started to experience congestion, slight headaches. I thought it was sinus to be honest with you because I do suffer from sinus from time to time.

“I was off after that for the next two days. I started to take sinus medication. I went to work because I work night duty so we work (four) nights. After the two nights off I went to work and for the two days of the beginning of the shift I felt really bad. The sinuses were not clearing up.”

She said she took sick leave and during that time the symptoms increased. She started to experience things such as shortness of breath, muscle cramps, sneezing and diarrhea.

She said she then contacted the employee health department.

“I called them and they said they’re not doing any testing of staff. I called the lady back from the hotline and she made arrangements for me to go to South Beach Clinic. I did the test at South Beach Clinic and that was on the 10th of August and presently I’m still waiting on the results.”

As her symptoms got worse, such as a spike in temperature, she ended up going to a private facility to get her test. The results came back positive.

Although she understands there was a backlog at South Beach Clinic, she feels nurses should be given priority considering they are on the frontline.

Now, she is feeling better than before and is taking vitamins. The Ministry of Health has been calling her, but she said there is no specialised care for nurses having symptoms.

“When you ask what can be done because you’re experiencing the symptoms, the only thing they tell is ‘Well, continue with your vitamins and you get any worse then go to the hospital,’” said the 44-year-old.

“But there’s actually no care for the nurses while you’re experiencing these symptoms and these symptoms have to get to a certain point before they can say okay go to the hospital.”

She also said while nurses at SRC were given masks and gloves, more personal protective equipment was needed.

“We were never informed as where this thing exactly was or where this COVID actually was”

On Monday, health officials said 72 healthcare workers have contracted COVID-19 since July.

Data provided by the Ministry of Health shows that as of August 19, 28 healthcare workers at Grand Bahama Health Services tested positive for COVID-19; 18 at Princess Margaret Hospital; 18 at Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre; seven at the Department of Public Health (DPH) on New Providence and one at DPH on the Family Islands.

Nurse Bernadette Rolle, who worked on the Male Ward at SRC, died on Friday from the disease.


joeblow 3 years, 9 months ago

I know doctors and nurses in the medical community who have shared that they feel that the government had thrown them under the bus during this COVID-19 pandemic. They cite the lack of PPE's, the struggles of getting tested and not being advised of contact tracing when they have been exposed to covid positive patients. One doctor told me of a group of nurses being turned away from the South Beach Clinic when they requested testing after being exposed to known covid-19 positive patients and were told to go back to work! Heads should roll but life goes on!


SP 3 years, 9 months ago

This is an unbelievable horrendous indictment of incompetence on several levels. Front line workers should be at the forefront of the best care available.

If the powers that be are incapable of taking care of nurses, then the union should step in, side step governments red tape, and seek OTC remedies from local doctors or Dr. Bethel in Freeport.


SP 3 years, 9 months ago

To add injury to insult, I personally know someone that signed up for a Covid test but the line and wait was too long, so they left without getting tested. However, low and behold the clinic called them several days later and said they'ed tested positive!

The system simply doesn't work. There's absolutly no way I'm trusting these clowns with a "trial" vaccine especially after Dr. Fauci warns NOT to rush with trial vaccines!



rodentos 3 years, 9 months ago

tests are useless. Most of the tested postive are NOT sick. There is no point. Either you are sick or you are not sick, in both cases you do not need a test.


bogart 3 years, 9 months ago

Bey dis one bold dead wrong situation. How come Bahamasair doing Air travel...with the Government as the single shareholder burning through some $7.5 million dollars monthly some 600 employees ....and a PRSENT now and decades continuously losing peoples money from the taxpayers and the now reality now Public Treasury ....versus.... government the Princess Margaret Hospital, Clinics, govt Medical Care facilities ....catering to all the population life and death health priceless saving continuous saving ....catering to lives.... issues......medical employees from PAST Govt. STILL pleading for money owed for work they done already, Doctors an Medical professionals going on side of Public Road to plead, done pleading for work equipment to make safe best protect their lives from working on Frontline job...dealing with COVID no vaccine disease.. still SAME Government as shareholder of BOTH Bahamasair agency and Medical Public Hospitals, Clinics agency.

Why Govt have Bahamasair over ....Govt Medical Hospital Health Workers...?????

In light of one Medical Warrior Nurse Frontline dying ...haven't still no Bahamasair worker passing away, an plenty Doctors and Nurses having grave workplace concerns.... the choice of more importantly taking care of Bahamian lives is to declare immediate closure to money losing Bahamasair burning taxpayers money...and innediately using money to better Medical Health Nation's Frontline workers and healthcare to all in the nation .

Every less dollar from Bahamasair from Bahamasair immediate closure can go to buy medical supplies, etc, better conditions for Medical staff, better conditions to cater to nations Health needs.Truth be told, ain't gon lie Bahamians lives from dying an getting better done now an future to save mostest from dying more more more important.


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