PMH has ‘passed breaking point’

Princess Margaret Hospital. (File photo)

Princess Margaret Hospital. (File photo)


Tribune Senior Reporter


A TOP doctor at Princess Margaret Hospital described the strain COVID-19 has on the hospital in stark terms yesterday, insisting the institution has “passed the breaking point”.

She said that sections of the facility are “bursting at the seams” and that the hospital is already at the point of collapse.

Dr Raquel Davis-Hall, a consultant in the Accident & Emergency section of the hospital, said PMH is currently in the worst state it has been in since the start of the pandemic last year.

“Right now I’ve been having doctors call us over the last two, three days, they call us from Abaco, they calling from Andros, they calling from Eleuthera, they have patients, either symptomatic for COVID or testing positive or they need to be investigated for COVID. I have nowhere to put them so I have to delay their transfer,” she told reporters during a media tour of PMH yesterday.

“(A) physician I spoke to from Abaco yesterday, he had three patients and he been calling for two days. I felt so horrible, I said I have to make space for at least one of your patients so you won’t feel that burden, so that we can share in this responsibility and I took the patient but after that I could take no more. So the islands are calling and I have nowhere to put these patients.”

The government has thus far resisted implementing strict restrictions on people’s ability to assemble and move throughout New Providence during the third wave of COVID-19, emphasising that the arrival of vaccines points to a way out of the pandemic.

But even as residents show greater willingness to get the jabs, hospital officials are worried that their institutions cannot cope with the deluge of patients.

“People are dying,” Dr Davis-Hall said. “Young people are dying. We have people pull up at the Critical Care Block not breathing and we do all that we can to assist them and we are limited in our reach and in our scope. There are things that we don’t have in this institution to help our fellow man. We want to have negative pressure rooms in the emergency rooms (but) we don’t have that and so our efforts for these patients are limited.”

 Dr Davis-Hall said the Accident & Emergency Department needs more nurses. She said tents donated recently by Samaritan’s Purse were a welcomed gift, but they are already filled to capacity under the surge of COVID-19 patients.

 “Our secondary area in the clinic, we call the general practice clinic, that is bursting at the seams at this particular point in time,” she said. “I know we have two wards that are scheduled to come on stream, I need them to open and I need them to be staffed. I need them to decompress our load. The load is great and we are feeling the weight and it is crushing us at times.”

 Staff of the Accident & Emergency section have been overworked since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr Davis-Hall said. Some, she added, have worked continually with no relief and no breaks.

 “We are tired and we would like for the Bahamian public to know we care about you, we love you as our fellow brothers and sisters but we want you to take care of yourselves, we want you to do the protocol that has been outlined by the Ministry of Health,” she said. “We also want you to get vaccinated. Please, brothers and sisters, you need to be vaccinated. This COVID virus is relentless. We see patients come in, let’s say 12am, they’re breathing, and you could say in the next two hours those same persons can be dead.”

 Despite the hard work of her team, Dr Davis-Hall acknowledged that some of them have not been among those given honorariums by the government.

 The matter has prompted up to 300 healthcare workers in other departments to engage in a sick-out for six consecutive days now, delaying services in an already troubling time for the health system.

 Dr Davis-Hall said only two doctors in her department have been given honorariums to date.

 “Some of us are feeling at this particular point under-appreciated and overlooked, in particular what has happened with the gift some people call it that was given out?” she said.

 “It is a slap in the face when people who have not  worked from day one can be given gifts and those who have been on the frontlines get nothing. It is almost heartbreaking. But we don’t work for the money at times. We work because we love what we do. We come to work every day loving what we do. We love the new challenges, the new experiences. Yes, we want to get a salary. At the end of the day we have families, mortgages, things to take care of, but for us in the Emergency Department, the physician staff, for only two doctors to get an honorarium is ridiculous.

 “We have hospital workers who themselves have lost their loved ones to COVID and even in that I have lost my father to COVID and I’ve had to pick myself up and remain in the fight.”

 The Ministry of Health said 55 new cases of COVID-19 were recorded on Monday, bringing the nation’s toll to 16,723. One hundred and thirty-seven people are in hospital while 313 people have died from the virus to date.

Yesterday health officials said due to increasing COVID-19 cases, PMH’s A&E Department is “operating at capacity.” The public has been asked to visit community clinics for non-emergency and non-urgent care.


Chucky 2 years, 3 months ago

Sounds like the first half of the story was told for the purpose of a lead into the “we all desire an honorarium “ speech.

Show some photos of these overloaded and filled up departments weve heard so much about.

Seems funny that every hospital makes the same claims yet there’s photo evidence of nurses dancing and making tiktok videos , but none of a full hospital ward , much less a field hospital tent that’s full.


OMG 2 years, 3 months ago

People as stupid as you would deny the holocaust even if you were to see bodies stacked up in front of you. Your and many others problem is you believes all this rubbish and false rumours spouted by Tikoc, Facebook and the like. You reckon this doctor is saying these things just for fun, to deceive people---to what end.


Chucky 2 years, 3 months ago

No, reckon the doctor says all these things as a precursor to “give us all a tip”

And I don’t have Facebook, nor watch tiktok.

But have family that works in first world country hospitals and they have not as yet reported any overcrowding.

Don’t you find it strange that worldwide their has not been any images of hospitals overcrowded?

Think and question everything, believe things that have evidence and give you reason to believe.

The vast majority will endure covid unscathed, it’s something to worry about only if you have co morbidities. Nature is culling the heard, and that’s nature’s job!


stillwaters 2 years, 3 months ago

Go up there and see for your damn self....even if they send photos, you will probably say they are fake......


OMG 2 years, 3 months ago

Well said, but morons exist everywhere.


tribanon 2 years, 3 months ago

And you more than most possess the commonality with them to know. lol


TimesUp 2 years, 3 months ago

We have been left with the consequences of our actions, for better or worse, Government or our own personal decisions have brought us here.

For everyone clamoring and rowing and arguing and protesting so vehemently, all the Facebook doctors, Wats app wonderers and prophets has the government been influenced by your voice? Are you happy with the outcome?

We have reaped what we have sown, our personal decisions and our own independent duly elected Government, is anyone to blame but ourselves?

We have been left to our own fate, no more lockdowns, no more restrictions, personal choice on the vaccine! Need urgent medical care then god help you because A and E seemingly cannot.


carltonr61 2 years, 3 months ago

WHO is yet to acknowledge that every country after mass vaccinations saw massive cases, overwhelmed hospitals, travel alerts and lock downs. they are acting surprised. The vaccinated shed the virus that is why CDC ordered mask wearing for everyone and booster shots is rolling in. this is a new global disaster.


killemwitdakno 2 years, 3 months ago

Needed to get them Haitians to build space from last year or possess the houses that government demolished.


killemwitdakno 2 years, 3 months ago

This time 2019 they brewed up a storm wanting raise before facilities. Well, I guess that's where the funding went. Now they know bartering for priorities. Have the health stewards come around? Why hasn't the world built more hospitals in this yet? They'll always be used for something. All of the uninsured or as shelters.


tribanon 2 years, 3 months ago


Perhaps these Minnis controlled medical doctors need to visit the Ministry of Health website, click on 'health statistics', then click on 'mortality' and have a good hard look at the 2014 numbers for leading causes of death per 100,000 people in The Bahamas. The numbers were compiled by the Health Information and Research Unit of The Bahamas Department of Statistics and made available to the public in August 2017.

The leading causes of death in 2014 were as follows:

Heart disease 135 deaths per 100,000 people; Cancer 102 deaths per 100,000 people; External Causes (Accidents, Violence and Poisonings) 67 deaths per 100,000 people; Stroke 38 deaths per 100,000 people; Diabetes 30 deaths per 100,000 people.

The statistical info for leading causes of death for years after 2014 is not yet available on the Ministry of Health's website for whatever reason. But it's unlikely the rates that would be shown for the years since 2014 have gotten any better.

Over the past 18 months we've had 333 COVID-19 deaths in The Bahamas according to public health officials. Some believe that number has been skewed to the high side for political reasons, but that's a story for another day.

The 333 COVID-19 deaths so far equate to about 55 deaths per 100,000 people calculated as follows:

333 ➗ (18 ➗ 12) ✖️ (100,000 ➗ 400,000) = 55.5, where the population of The Bahamas is assumed to be about 400,000 souls.

All the scaremongering by our elected officials and their appointees is really baseless when you consider that the average person living in The Bahamas has a greater chance of dying from so many other things.

Incidentally, you have about a 133 in 100,000 chance of being raped in The Bahamas, nearly three times more than the likelihood of you dying from COVID-19.

For those of you interested in learning much more about COVID-19 and the vaccines, the latest research studies published by the Israeli government are generally regarded as the gold standard. So far, these studies support the greatest amount of ongoing T Cell and B Cell immunity being achieved through the development of natural immunity, i.e., those who have been infected and recovered from COVID-19.

And it now seems the novel experimental vaccines only provide waning protection for a period up to 8 months, with unknown potential long-term side-effects that will only become known with the passage of significant time.

Many of these medical doctors singing Minnis's song for their supper continue to be a major disappointment. They, like Minnis, know full well that our entire dysfunctional and grossly under-resourced public health system was on life support long before COVID-19 came along.


Bobsyeruncle 2 years, 3 months ago

For those of you interested in learning much more about COVID-19 and the vaccines, the latest research studies published by the Israeli government are generally regarded as the gold standard.

Gold Standard by whom ? Not saying they don't do great research in Israel, but I wouldn't consider it Gold Standard.

So far, these studies support the greatest amount of ongoing T Cell and B Cell immunity being achieved through the development of natural immunity, i.e., those who have been infected and recovered from COVID-19.

You might be right about the greater natural immunity from those who have recovered from COVID, but what good is that if you DON'T recover. The vaccine's purpose is to give you a better chance of recovering. Once again you have demonstrated your inability to think critically, because of your selfish, narcissistic nature !!


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