Minister of Health Dr Duane Sands. (File photo)
By Earyel Bowleg
HEALTH Minister Dr Duane Sands moved to explain the need to use the West End Clinic in Grand Bahama as a quarantine treatment centre for those who test positive for COVID-19 despite the objections of residents.
It was reported that some of the residents on West End were against the decision. They argued that the clinic does not have the capacity or enough medication to be a treatment centre.
Dr Sands explained to The Tribune that the recommendation was made by the health leadership in Grand Bahama. The minister added they understand the “concerns and fears” and are “sensitive” to the worries expressed, but stated “there’s no perfect place”. He explained having a hospital or a clinic caring for patients “in a compassionate way” is “not going to contaminate the community”.
“Grand Bahama health system has been ravaged by (Hurricane) Dorian and we’re in the process of trying to get it reconstructed so it limits the options. There are certain characteristics of a healthcare facility that have to be present in order to adequately care for patients who might need intubation and so on and so forth - West End Clinic has that.”
“If we got a case today, we needed to be able to manage it. So we have to have a back-up plan for managing patients at every given opportunity because when somebody comes in they are not interested in hearing this is not convenient or that’s not convenient. So we are looking at alternatives. We have no interest in antagonising the public”.
Dr Sands noted a site is being prepared at Rand Memorial Hospital but it is not yet completed. In the fight against COVID-19, he noted: “We don’t cut any corners and that we prepare and provide the best venue for patients. These patients are us.”
Currently, there are four confirmed COVID-19 cases.