Princess Margaret Hospital. Photo: Shawn Hanna/Tribune staff
By LEANDRA ROLLE
CONSTRUCTION at Princess Margaret Hospital’s Accident and Emergency Department will temporarily block access to the area’s main entrance off Elizabeth Avenue for a few months starting Monday, Health Minister Dr Duane Sands said yesterday.
Patients will have to go through the Maternity Ward entrance or the hospital lobby’s main entrance to seek access into the block.
This, according to Dr Sands, includes “patients arriving by ambulance and emergencies in private vehicles, emergency patients arriving in ambulance or private vehicles and maternity care (patients).”
He told reporters yesterday: “(They) will be diverted to the Maternity Ward entrance, which will be accessed through the security arm located off Sands Lane. So, Sands Lane, Elizabeth Avenue and the security arm that puts us behind Princess Margaret Hospital.”
Meanwhile, “walk-in or ambulatory patients and visitors will (have to) access the emergency department through the main hospital lobby entrance that’s in the new critical care block off Shirley Street,” he said. “And, for general public access, the public should use that entrance and the legacy entrance off Shirley Street….for a period of months, the only way to get into Accident and Emergency at (PMH) if you’re walking is through the Critical Care Block entrance.”
The entrance’s temporary closure will allow for further renovations to be completed at PMH’s A and E Department, ultimately advancing the ministry’s Urgent and Emergency Care Project.
The $3.6m project was launched in 2018 by the Ministry of Health in an effort to improve and reform urgent health care in the capital.
Noting that the project will take a phased approach, Dr Sands said in order for Bahamians to see improvements in healthcare, they must be prepared to experience changes.
“If we are going to dramatically improve the quality of the patient’s experience at Princess Margaret Hospital and Accident and Emergency in particular, we are going to have to make some changes. You’re going to have to break some eggs to make an omelet,” the health minister said.