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Island Palm acquisition to pay ‘almost immediate’ dividends
  
Wednesday, 28 March 2012 06:22

Cheque Presentation pictured from left to right are  Catherine Weech, Administrator, Grand Bahama Health Services; Herbert Brown, Managing Director, Public Hospitals Authority; Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis, Minister of Health; Legal Counsel & General Manager Palm Investment, Mike Kennedy and  Chairman of Public Hospitals Authority, Veta Brown. (BIS Photo/Patrick Hanna)FREEPORT, Grand Bahama -- Officials of the Public Hospitals Authority (PHA) say the acquisition of the Island Palm Hotel on Grand Bahama on Tuesday is expected to “significantly impact” the delivery of quality healthcare in Grand Bahama in the northern Bahamas.  The Island Palm Hotel was acquired at a cost of $1.9 million and is expected to pay “almost immediate” dividends in the delivery and expansion of healthcare in the northern region.  

The acquisition is part of the Government of The Bahamas’ phased approach to improving the delivery and accessibility of healthcare to residents of the northern Bahamas and follows on the heels of the construction and upgrade of the Critical Care Facility and Operating Theatres at the Rand Memorial Hospital. 

It will also allow PHA and Rand Memorial officials to expand a number of critical areas such as Laboratory services and facilitate the use of Tele-Radiology as part of the Tele-medicine thrust in the future.  The acquisition will also allow PHA officials to increase bed capacity at the Rand Memorial Hospital. The Island Palm Hotel sits adjacent to the Rand Memorial and plans are already underway to transfer the Rand Memorial’s cafeteria services to the former hotel.  

PHA Managing Director, Mr. Herbert Brown, said the transfer of cafeteria services from the Rand Memorial Hospital to the Island Palm Hotel, will allow Rand Memorial officials to use the area currently set aside for cafeteria services to facilitate additional treatment and bed capacity.  “If you look at the way the hospital (Rand Memorial) is laid out, you would see that it is not conducive to being able to provide efficient healthcare to people because the kitchen and the cafeteria are in the middle of the hospital,” Mr. Brown said.  “This acquisition will now allow us to move that area and place it in a strategic way where it should be going. The plan then is to develop-re-develop the hospital in Grand Bahama on site, but in a phased and very strategic approach,” Mr. Brown added.  

Mr. Brown said the re-development of the Rand Memorial will result in residents of Grand Bahama and by extension, those persons residing in the northern Bahamas, having access to the same level of care as those persons in New Providence.  “It started with the Critical Care side of the plan with the construction and expansion of the Accident and Emergency Department and then increasing significantly the capacity of the Rand’s Operating Theatres from one to three,” Mr. Brown said.  “We now have three state-of-the-art operating theatres in Grand Bahama which will allow physicians in Grand Bahama to perform more advanced than before.”  Mr. Brown said the next logical step in that equation, was to provide the additional bed capacity, hence the acquisition of the Island Palm Hotel.  We want to be able to increase our bed capacity from 82 to at least 150 beds and that would also mean that we would want to include some private beds because there are those who – when they are admitted to hospital – would want privacy and they would want private rooms and so it our intention to add some private rooms.  “The acquisition will further allow us to expand and upgrade the lab to the standard of today’s world and expand and upgrade the Radiology Department. This is one critical area of our service as there are plans to include Tele-Radiology,” Mr. Brown added.

Health Minister Dr. the Hon. Hubert A. Minnis said the acquisition is a “huge step forward” in building capacity in the healthcare system of The Bahamas. “This acquisition, on the ground level, has additional implications,” he said. “On one hand, the Rand Memorial Hospital will now be expanded and facilities engaged for the further delivery of quality healthcare, and on the other hand it means an immediate injection into the economy of Grand Bahama once construction begins to amalgamate the two properties.  There can be no greater commitment to a people or their progress, than a tangible investment in healthcare services and this acquisition not only highlights the Government’s commitment to the health and wealth of this nation, but is also a huge step forward and a further indication of the strategic planning of the Public Hospitals Authority to fulfil its mandate to deliver comprehensive opportunities for healthcare for residents of our country,” Dr. Minnis added.

Photo: Cheque Presentation pictured from left to right are  Catherine Weech, Administrator, Grand Bahama Health Services; Herbert Brown, Managing Director, Public Hospitals Authority; Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis, Minister of Health; Legal Counsel & General Manager Palm Investment, Mike Kennedy and  Chairman of Public Hospitals Authority, Veta Brown. (BIS Photo/Patrick Hanna)


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