Categorized | National News

Health Minister Suggests More Doctors in Community Clinics

The Health Minister Doctor Duane Sands says the issue of overworked doctors can be solved through properly deploying them.

Dr. Sands said that while there are a lot of doctors, they are not being deployed for the most benefit for the Bahamian population.

“The historical approach to healthcare in the Bahamas has been hospital centered. We’ve put a bunch of very good doctors in the hospital, but then you also have a lot of people coming to the hospital. Maybe a better model is take the fight for health to the community,” Dr. Sands said.

The structure he suggested would be to have the doctors go to community clinics.

“Putting the very best doctors into the community clinics prevents people from having to go to the hospital when the pediatricians about 10-15 years ago we saw a dramatic change from an overcrowded children’s ward to a place where there were empty beds,” Dr. Sands said.

He added that placing well trained doctors in public clinics on the family islands changes the approach to wellness.

The Minister also suggests giving appointments instead of having persons take numbers with no surety of when they will see the doctor.

When it comes to changing the model and reworking the system, Dr. Sands said that process has been taking place for a while within the family practice program.

“What we have now determined through the medical council is that any doctor who comes through and is going to work in the public sector is going to have to do a rotating program that gives them the rudiments of a general practice certification and then they can go into the community or they can do a family practice program, which gives them even more qualification,” Dr. Sands said.

He added that the goal is to take generally trained physicians and put them where they are needed.

“We need specialists like vascular heart surgeons, but you need primary care doctors more than anything else,” Dr. Sands said.

This past weekend chairman of the National Health Insurance Authority Dr. Robin Roberts stated that there is not so much a manpower need, but a need to properly schedule the hours of doctors.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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