By DENISE MAYCOCK
Tribune Freeport Reporter
KWASI Thompson, MP for East Grand Bahama, has again called for government to address the pressing issue concerning the lack of medical professionals on Sweeting’s Cay.
He also pointed to the need for furniture at the Police Station in the Administration Building in McLean’s Town and a proper dock facility at Waters Cay.
Mr Thompson raised these issues during his contribution to the Amendment of the Digital Assets and Registered Exchange Act in the House of Assembly on Wednesday.
He indicated that one of the major issues Sweeting’s Cay residents are facing is the reopening of the clinic there.
“The clinic is completed in terms of renovation, however, due to the shortage of staff and the need for other items, the clinic has not yet been opened,” he said.
Additionally, MP Thompson stated, there is a need for the residents to have regular visits from the doctor and nurse. He said there had been two or three recent medical emergencies on the cay.
The MP went on to note that the cay is about a 15-minute boat ride from McLean’s Town and about 45 minutes to an hour from Freeport to McLean’s.
Mr Thompson said thankfully the last medical emergency on the cay had not resulted in anyone dying.
The MP said after sending a letter to the Minister of Health and Wellness Dr Michael Darville about the matter, they were put in touch with medical professionals who indicated that there will be visits for a doctor and nurse.
“We are appreciative of a response, but we still continue to say it has not started yet, we want to keep it to the forefront for attention because God forbid something happens and there is a medical emergency and someone passes,” said Mr Thompson at Parliament yesterday.
Minister Darville said they are fully aware of the challenges in East Grand Bahama, specifically in Sweeting’s Cay. He explained that the facility is near completion, but the challenge is to find residences for medical staff.
“I can assure him, and the residents of Sweeting’s Cay, that this administration is very serious about providing essential services, particularly in outlying settlements. And through an IBD loan facility, we are moving diligently to resolve many challenges that exist, not only in GB, but in some of our far southern islands,” Dr Darville said.
“The people of Sweeting’s Cay are very important to this government like everyone else in New Providence and GB proper, and we will do all in our power to ensure services are fixed and up and running in the shortest time possible,” he promised.
Dr Darville added that a nurse is on standby.
On the matter of the Police Station in McLean’s Town, Mr Thompson said the station - which serves the communities of McLean Town, Sweeting’s Cay, and other communities in the East – is completed. He said the police are awaiting furniture to move in.
The East Grand Bahama MP said that this has been an issue for a number of months. “They really want the furniture, and I am urgently asking the government’s assistance in facilitating and ensuring this happens,” he said.
As for the dock in Water Cay, Mr Thompson said residents must jump off the vessel to get on land. He said that they wait for the government to assist in resolving that issue.
Works Minister Alfred Sears explained that they are awaiting the scope of work to be completed.
He also urged the Grand Bahama Power Company to ensure they complete work at Water Cay where there is no access to power. He said Water Cay residents are willing to go back and live there, but without electricity, there is no access to water.