Categorized | National News

Critical Care Block On Schedule, On Budget

Despite bouts of inclement weather, the Princess Margaret Hospital’s (PMH) multi-million dollar Critical Care Block is on schedule and on budget, according to a health official.

Started just seven months ago, the project’s third level is in sight.

“Everything being equal, we see no reason why we would not meet the contractual schedule of June 2013,” Managing Director of the Public Hospitals Authority (PHA), Herbert Brown told reporters on Friday.

“To this point, we would have spent about $23.5 million. Inclusive of the duty, the construction cost is $64 million and we expect that we will be spending in excess of $30 million to ensure that we have a first class facility for the Bahamian people. We are very proud of the progress to date.”

Touted as the “single largest healthcare investment,” once completed, the new wing will comprise 18 recovery beds, 20 ICU (Intensive Care Unit) rooms; 48 Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) beds, new laboratory facilities, upgraded administrative facilities; upgraded electrical, water and sewerage, air-conditioning and fire protection services and a new main entry into the facility and shared services.

“This will mean that we will have to engage additional staff to ensure that we can deliver the service that the Bahamian people are going to expect from us, so it’s not just about the structure, what is more important for us is that we are able to improve the quality of service to those using it,” Mr. Brown added.

During the project’s groundbreaking last November, former Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham revealed that 130 or more Bahamians, exclusive of physicians and nurses were being trained to become surgical and orthopedic, radiology, pharmacy, rehabilitation, intensive care, laboratory, biomedical, EKG and ECHO technicians.

Medical records, patient care aides, maintenance technicians and other service officers are also required.

The facility will also provide opportunities for a range of entrepreneurs and service providers.

The new block comes at the time when the hospital continues to face a number of challenges.

“There are days when patients have to wait longer than we would look to get a bed. Also, there are sometimes a long waiting time for an operating room,” Chief Hospital Administrator Coralie Adderley explained.

“Again, all of these are reasons that we proceeded pushing with the idea of a critical care block and we are pleased that we are on schedule and on budget to make that happen. Our staff has been excellent in finding ways to provide care to our patients given those challenges.”

The hospital recently had to beef up its security after a police officer was shot in the face by an armed robbery suspect.

The prisoner allegedly took the officer’s gun and shot him while in the hospital’s X-Ray Department.

“We would have had a number of meetings this week that are helping to strengthen that area,” Mrs. Adderley said.

“We’ve already had discussions with the police department, our security and a private security firm.”

No stranger to PMH, the new Minister of Health Dr. Perry Gomez recognises the importance of the facility, which he has called home for some three decades.

“We have to build on what we have and there seems to be a lot happening. Just look at the critical care block. It’s something we have talked about for a long time and I’m happy to see it come to fruition,” Dr. Gomez said during his first official tour as minister.

The minister is expected to outline his plans for local healthcare during his budget contribution in the House of Assembly.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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