Hospitals ‘ready’ for storm



PUBLIC Hospitals Authority officials say they are prepared in the event of an increase in patients due to Tropical Storm Nicole.

Aubynette Rolle, PHA managing director, told reporters yesterday that they are ensuring the hospitals and clinics on the various islands have the capacity and equipment to assist those who may be affected.

“One of the things we’ve done is start an activation of our command centre as of 7pm in Grand Bahama, and it’s just a partial activation to ensure that we can manoeuvre throughout,” she said yesterday.

“We have done also, we have topped up our food supplies and medical surgical supplies. We have the assistance of Bahamasair to facilitate some of those.

“We also have the ability to fuel up generators to ensure that we have generation in the event that electricity goes out and we also have propane for cooking.

“We’ve also been liaising with partners who assist with what we call a special needs centre to be able to care for those persons who require some medical attention.”

According to Ms Rolle, PHA is also working alongside the Supplies Management Agency (SMA) to supply the various Family Islands with medicines and medical supplies.

Due to damage from Hurricane Dorian at the Rand Memorial Hospital in Grand Bahama, Ms Rolle said there will always be a concern for flooding, however they have taken the necessary precautions ahead of Nicole.

She said sandbags have been purchased and the roof of the facility has been secured “as much as possible”.

“We’ve also sort of moved where we are going to be caring for patients so that they are not right in the face of flood hopefully,” said Ms Rolle.

“We have secured the roofs as much as possible, so there are concerns and we’re just praying for the best in relation to the flooding,” she added.

As for flooding at Princess Margaret Hospital in New Providence, she said PHA has completed roof repairs, so she anticipates there will be no leaks as it has withstood the rain over the past few weeks.

Charlene Bain, director of community health services at the Ministry of Health and Wellness, said that the healthcare capacity in Abaco is “good” despite its setbacks from Hurricane Dorian. She said the clinics on the island are fully equipped to weather Tropical Storm Nicole.

Ms Bain said: “Their buildings are intact. The roofs are intact. The generators are working. We have a backup water supply system. We have medication, we have medical surgical supplies, we have hurricane supplies. The vehicles are all fueled and working and that speaks to every clinic in Abaco.”

She said the only challenged medical facility on the island is the Moore’s Island clinic, due to the recent relocation into a new clinic, therefore they are currently sourcing a new generator.

According to Ms Bain, the generator at the old clinic is fully functional, and in the event of a crisis they will work between both facilities.


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