Princess Margaret Hospital. Photo: Shawn Hanna/Tribune staff
THE Public Hospitals Authority has announced the resumption of patient visitation to its facilities starting July 1, under strict guidelines due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
In PHA’s phased service reactivation and visitation schedule, the following measures remain in effect for the safety of patients, staff and the public.
For access to Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH): patients and visitors must enter PMH through the new Critical Care Block entrance. All maternity-day cases must enter by the emergency or maternity entrance. Only dialysis patients will be permitted to use the medical block entrance for access to the Dialysis Unit.
PMH employees and credentialed providers are required to access the hospital by the legacy entrance at Burnside Lane or the Critical Care Block entrance only.
Employees are always required to wear their ID badge, or they will be denied access at the legacy entrance.
PHA said while recognising that asymptomatic individuals often appear healthy, hospital visitation “is strongly discouraged for the health and safety for all”. Hospital visitations remains suspended due to COVID-19 however exceptions may be made based upon the condition of the patient and the approval of the attending physician.
PHA said if the public must visit patients, the following schedule will be in effect as of July 1.
At PMH, patients will be allowed one visitor per day. Visitors are restricted to immediate family and must be on a pre-approved list.
All ward visitation will be permitted once per day between the hours of 6pm and 7pm daily. Intensive Care and Neonatal Intensive Care Units visitation will be permitted once per day between 10.30am and 11.30pm daily.
Visitation in the Accident & Emergency (A&E) Department is restricted to one person only. Social distancing requirements restrict the number of relatives to one accompanying individual.
At Grand Bahama Health Services, people requiring information regarding their relatives or wishing to visit their relatives are asked to call the hospital before proceeding to the health care facility.
Visitation at Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre and Geriatric Hospital is allowed by immediate family only, however there will be one visitor per patient, as per standard hours of visitation. Only essential items/packages will be accepted from visitors.
Visitors are required to wear face masks, utilise hand hygiene stations, and complete a brief Q&A/declaration interview, PHA said.
Those with fever or exhibiting flu-like symptoms will be denied entry for visitation. It is anticipated that screening measures employed will cause some delay at the points of entry.
PHA also said that effective immediately, all outpatient clinics will operate under an appointment system to ensure adherence to social distancing requirements and maintaining appropriate infection prevention practices.
PHA added that only emergency cases will be managed during this period. Additionally, the statement said, the public is asked to only use ambulance services for emergencies. The public should contact their personal physicians for non-emergencies during the day, and Accident & Emergency after hours.