Categorized | Featured, National News

154 To Receive Cataract Surgeries

Nearly 200 Bahamians will receive free cataract surgeries as a result of a new partnership between The Bahamian and Chinese governments.

So far 154 people have signed up for the Bright Journey programme.

On Wednesday members of the Bright Journey medical team from Peking University First Hospital are set to travel to New Providence.

“Bright Journey is a collaborative effort between the governments of China and The Bahamas under which surgical interventions for up to 200 cataract patients will be possible,” Minister of Health Dr. Perry Gomez said.

“These interventions will be performed by Chinese and Bahamian surgical teams between May 1 and May 12. The surgeries will be performed in the Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) in two newly renovated theatres in an expanded eye wing. The advance team from China has been hard at work with their counterparts at the hospital to complete the installation of new state-of-the-art surgical equipment.”

Dr. Gomez said approximately $578,000 worth of equipment, instruments, medical supplies and pharmaceuticals from the Chinese government have already arrived at PMH.

He said at the end of the project all the items will be donated to the hospital.

“The Bright Journey team includes three highly accomplished doctors and four nurses who will compromise the surgical members of the team,” the health minister said.

“It is my hope that Bright Journey will become a template for future collaborative efforts between The Bahamas and China. The challenges we face in public healthcare are often global challenges where the expertise and resources of nations and regions can be brought to bear across borders to improve the lives and health of ordinary citizens.”

He added that planning and preparation began last year and that it would not be a reality without hard work and commitment from officials in the ministry, PMH, the Chinese Embassy and the Public Hospitals Authority (PHA).

Chinese Ambassador to The Bahamas Yuan Guisen thanked Bahamian officials specifically Prime Minister Perry Christie, Dr. Gomez and Minister of Foreign Affairs Fred Mitchell.

“I also appreciate the support from the governor general for this programme,” the ambassador said.
“The cataract deficiency in every country around the world including China and The Bahamas is the same and any partnership will help. All patients have the same need for surgery and same need for recovery. Patients in both countries are on the same level and this programme is a good one and a token of the friendship from the Chinese people to the Bahamian people.”
The Christie led government made a similar deal during its first stint in office.
At that time, it negotiated an agreement that saw hundreds of Bahamians receive free eye surgery, courtesy of the Cuban government.
Eye surgeries are not the only gifts the government has received from abroad.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has donated 13 tricycle ambulances to The Bahamas.
According to the minister, they were shipped to Grand Bahama for assemblage, which is almost complete.

Sasha Lightbourne

Written by Sasha Lightbourne

Journal Staff Writer

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