Friday, November 18, 2011
Friday, November 18, 2011
Hailed as “the single largest investment in health-care infrastructure” the government broke ground this week on a world-class Critical Care Block at the Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH).
“Today we commence in earnest, the phased redevelopment of the PMH on its present site,” said Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham at the groundbreaking ceremony on November 16. “When completed we expect the PMH will be redeveloped into a 500-bed facility inclusive of a dedicated maternal and child-care wing.”
Upon completion, all non-core medical services will be relocated away from the present hospital site.
This first phase of the PMH redevelopment commences with the construction of the Critical Care Block, the cost of which will be the single largest investment in health-care since the hospital was built nearly six decades ago.
The project’s overall cost is $75 million, inclusive of equipment.
The Royal Bank of Canada provided a $55-million loan to the Public Hospitals Authority (PHA) to be paid through the issuance of bonds. The PHA is the public corporation responsible for the management and development of the public hospital system in the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.
The government of The Bahamas will pick up the tab for the remaining $20 million.
Aside from the construction of the Critical Care Block, the redevelopment project also includes a new entryway to the hospital and critical utility upgrades.
The new entryway will meet all building codes inclusive of those recommended by the American Disability Association.
The block will provide for the consolidation of laboratory facilities, an increased number of operating theatres, improved storage and increased availability of beds in the Intensive Care and Neonatal Intensive Care units.
There will also be improvements made to family facilities and upgraded facilities for physicians and clinical staff.
The completion of the first phase is expected to take 24 months. Cavalier Construction is the lead contractor.
Construction of this new facility will also provide opportunities for the employment of hundreds of Bahamians, according to the Prime Minister.
“In preparation for the completion of the Critical Care Block, 130 or more Bahamians, exclusive of physicians and nurses, are being engaged to be trained to become surgical and orthopedic, radiology, pharmacy, rehabilitation, intensive care, laboratory, biomedical, EKG and ECHO technicians,” the Prime Minister advised. “Additionally, medical records, patient care aides, maintenance technicians and other service officers are required.”
The PHA has selected candidates in certain areas for the PMH facility and other expanded health-care facilities in New Providence and in Grand Bahama.
The first 160 individuals will begin their training before the end of this month. Upon completion, trainees are expected to become permanent staff of the PHA.
“This facility will also provide opportunities for a range of entrepreneurs and service providers beyond those mentioned,”?said the Prime Minister. “I ask that all participants bring their best game to the team. The magnitude of the project will demand close coordination and timeliness of efforts to minimize disruptions.”