ABACO, Bahamas -- Saving lives and medical success is something the telemedicine program has brought to the residents of Abaco. Through the reach of technology the Ministry of Health extended its telemedicine program on that island, to include regularly scheduled weekly Dermatology Clinic between New Providence and Abaco. Since the launch of the program in January 21st, 42 patients were booked at the clinic in Marsh Harbour, Abaco with Skin specialist (Dermatologist) Dr. Herbert Olander.
The program facilitates Dr. Olander treating and examining patients via video conferencing technology from New Providence while the patients remain in Abaco. The success of this Telemedicine program has exceeded the expectations of officials within the Ministry of Health. Of those 42 patients examined and treated, physicians detected that three patient’s required biopsy. One patient diagnosed with skin cancer is presently being treated. This facility has proven invaluable as it saves time and allows immediate intervention in medical cases, improving patient treatment options. This also means hundreds of thousands of dollars in savings to patients eliminating the need to travel between a Family Island and New Providence even as far as the United States for specialist care.
Health minister Dr. Hubert Minnis says the program will be extended to Andros and soon after to residents at Deadman’s Cay, Long Island. Patients in those communities will benefit from treatment in emergency cases and obtain second opinions from medical specialist in New Providence without having to leave the island.
Additionally the telemedicine program will be adapted to ambulances so that hospital care can be accessed from an individual’s home, office or wherever they may be, ultimately improving patient care. Emergency medical technicians would be outfitted with special video recording equipment linked with the emergency room at the Princess Margaret Hospital. Emergency room doctors at PMH, via the emergency technicians would be in a position to examine, assess and commence on the spot treatment, improving patient outcomes. In some instances treatment could eliminate the necessity for a hospital visit.
On Thursday (March 10, 2011), Abaconians took power in their own hands, turning up the heat on BEC to ensure that the major blackouts that drove tourists away last summer, won't happen this time around.
Residents were promised the problem would be resolved with the opening of a $100 million power plant which is able to supply the island of Abaco twice over. But it seems BEC may have put the cart before the horse because the necessary infrastructure was not in place to provide sufficient distribution throughout the island.
TREASURE CAY, Bahamas -- The inaugural Abaco Marine Flea Market will take place March 26-27th on the Treasure Cay Primary School athletic field. The school's athletic field will be transformed into a huge nautical 'swap shop.'
Patterned after the world famous Dania Marine Flea Market in Florida, the Abaco Marine Flea Market will benefit The Rosemary Roberts Library in Treasure Cay. Unlike a boat show, the Abaco Marine Flea Market will offer an informal, almost party-like, atmosphere where shoppers can enjoy a wide variety of Bahamian food and drinks while they wander the market in search of a wind scoop or spare propeller.
The Abaco Marine Flea Market is a great way to clear-out excess inventory or those nautical 'treasures' that have accumulated in the garage over the years. Private individuals and marine related businesses have an opportunity to sell used marine equipment, coral encrusted antiques, sailing gear, used boats, fishing tackle, diving gear, nautical artwork and other boating related items to boating enthusiasts looking for bargains.
Click HERE to visit the website and register as a seller or mark your calendar to come find some sea-worthy bargains.
This is a real photograph from one of the most mysterious environments in the world:
80ft below the surface, the Cascade room in Dan's Cave, on Abaco Island in the Bahamas, is one of the most sensational chambers in the cave system
No, it's not a still from Sanctum - although James Cameron's new diving film was inspired by a near-catastrophic expedition by the man who took these pictures, Wes C Skiles.
This is a real photograph from one of the most mysterious environments in the world. You could visit Abaco Island, in the Bahamas, and have no idea that beneath you lies this vast network of caves, accessible by as many as a thousand 'blue holes' - submerged vertical caves peppered with entrances to this forbidding domain.
Exploring these passages is the diving equivalent of climbing K2 - you've got to be exceptionally well trained and well prepared. Even then, safety is no guarantee; Wes C Skiles died during a dive last summer. Sanctum is dedicated to him.
Of the 1,000 or so blue holes in the Bahamas, fewer than 20 per cent have been investigated, and almost none fully explored. It's a perilous mission to undertake; the caves are pitch black, vast and labyrinthine: the deepest blue holes can be 600ft deep, and the connecting caves run on for thousands of feet in all directions.
Divers maintain a taut safety line at all times. Without it, it could be nigh on impossible to find your way out before your air supply runs out. Divers carry three tanks of nitrox mix - one to use on the way in, one on the way out, and one for emergencies - and three lights, which are used to communicate as well as navigate. Standard practice states that if any one light fails for any diver, the whole dive is called off.
In Sawmill Sink, another of Abaco's blue holes, bacteria colour the water a violent red, and signal the presence of hydrogen sulphide clouds
ABACO second homeowners are up in arms after being told that "at the moment" they cannot obtain the promised real property tax break in return for registering their homes and agreeing to pay room tax.
Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace, minister of tourism and aviation, and Zhivargo Laing, minister of state for finance, could not be contacted for comment and did not return messages before press time, with a Cabinet meeting ongoing Wednesday, but Internet forums and chat rooms were alive with complaints over the issue.
One irate second homeowner said they had registered their home with the Ministry of Tourism as a small hotel in December 2009, in accordance with the 2009 Small Hotels Act, given that the property was rented out to other visitors. Under the Act, the homeowner said they were supposed to obtain a real property tax exemption - the first $250,000 in value would be exempt, plus the 0.75 per cent on the additional value between $250,000 and $500,000. This was intended to compensate for the 6 per cent room tax paid to the Government on rentals, which increased to 10 per cent in the 2010-2011 Budget.
"We collected and paid the hotel tax all year," the homeowner said. "Last week we got our property tax bill with no exemptions. Today, I spoke with a fine lady in Nassau at the Ministry of Tourism who tells me that there have been 'legislative glitches' in the Small Hotels Act and that the Ministry of Finance is granting no second homeowners the reduced property tax incentive 'at the moment'. She also said that the Small Hotels Act is currently under revision."
The homeowner added: "The official whom I spoke with in the Marsh Harbour tax office seemed uniformed about these proceedings and told me I must be in residence at my house in Abaco for four months a year to qualify for the tax reduction. Nothing in the law - as I read it - says anything about four months or more of residency per year to qualify. The woman at the Department of Tourism agrees. She says there is no such residency requirement for the tax incentive."
Similar issues were raised in a letter posted on the Internet by well-known Great Guana Cay resident, Troy Albury. He said: "Foreign owners of second homes in Guana Cay all went over to the office in Marsh Harbour to the real property tax office and signed up for this program , received a tax No. and started collecting and remitting the taxes when there were rentals.
ABACO, Bahamas -- Thanks to the efforts of James Pleydell-Bouverie and Michael Albury, a 27 foot World Cat speed boat has been donated by Bob and Gail Bardin to the BNT to assist in patrolling the Pelican Cays and Fowl Cays National Parks.
The Trust was fortunate to receive assistance from Lighthouse Marina, the Conch Inn Marina and Abaco Outboard with logistics, dockage, and engine repair. The Outboard Shop also helped out by checking the boat out for any structural problems.
The boat has been pronounced seaworthy and ready for patrol.
The Trust is grateful to the donors and the Abaco Community for their assistance in getting the boat ready for work.
Abaco Community bands together to raise awareness, financial support and to show that “you are not alone” in the fight against Breast Cancer
ABACO, Bahamas -- On February 5th, the Abaco community came together under the theme “You’re Not Alone” to walk’ raise awareness, and funds for the fight against Breast Cancer. Early in the morning 250 registered walkers, ranging in ages from 6 to 75, took to the main highway in Marsh Harbour, Abaco, and an additional 60 persons in Man ’O War Cay, and walked to demonstrate their support and generate funds that will provide financial aid for any Abaco cancer patient in need of assistance for treatments or travel expenses.
While the cause is serious, and the impact of this disease can be devastating, the air was filled with support and care as this community came together and the elevated mood was palatable. The event atmosphere lends itself to joyfulness as persons from all areas of life band together on this cruel, but level playing field. A common commitment to effect change and reassure those engaged in the fight that “they are not alone” brought unified concern that buoyed spirits.
This is the second year this event was been coordinated by a host of concerned and caring citizens from the Abaco community. Driving the initiative is ‘Breast Cancer Survivor’ Leah Pinder of Marsh Harbour, Abaco. Leah, an estate agent for HG Christie Abaco, is a 7 year survivor who is passionate about spreading awareness, education and support.