Bahamas, July 24, 2017 – Nassau – Good afternoon and thank you for your attendance.
I wish to first take this opportunity, to thank the Acting Hospital Administrator, Mrs. Sandra Mortimer-Russell, the Executive Management Committee and Staff of the Rand Memorial Hospital for stepping-up to the plate on Friday past, thereby averting what could have been a far more serious event. I do not say that to minimize the incident, but to highlight the fact that I am indeed proud and grateful for a job well done.
Ladies and gentlemen as you were made aware during our initial report, a fire emanated from the kitchen of this hospital on Friday past at about 2:30pm. As a direct result, patients and staff were immediately evacuated to mitigate against any potential danger. They were relocated to two facilities, namely the Pro-Cathedral of Christ The King Anglican Church’s Foster Pestaina Centre and the Sunrise Medical Centre.
We can now confirm the initial report that most of the damage was limited to the kitchen area. Other areas impacted by smoke include: Medical, Surgical, Obstetric and Paediatric Wards, Cafeteria and the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). Clean up of those areas will be completed today. Plans are now at an advanced stage to restore the Kitchen so as to meet the onsite dietary needs of our patients and staff. In the meantime, alternate arrangements have been made to provide for the culinary requirements of the hospital.
I am also pleased to report that of the forty-eight patients evacuated to the Foster Pestaina Centre on Friday, twenty were returned to the Rand Memorial Hospital by 2am yesterday and twenty-eight were discharged by their attending physicians after determining that they no longer required hospitalization. These clients will be followed up as usual, by our community nursing teams.
As of 8am today, eight patients remain at Sunrise Medical Centre under the care of the Rand’s Medical, Nursing and support team. Further, two acutely ill patients scheduled to be airlifted prior to the incident, were successfully transferred to the Princess Margaret Hospital in New Providence on Friday evening at 7pm.
As it relates to services, the Accident/Emergency & Urgent Care Centre remains open 24 hours for urgent cases only. The Outpatients Specialty Clinic at Pearce Plaza, Coral Road is open 24 hours for non-urgent cases until further notice. The Eight Mile Rock Community Clinic is also operating on a 24-hour schedule. The community should be aware that Pharmacy services are also available at the 24-hour sites for filling prescriptions.
let me also take this opportunity to thank the community for its cooperation with us as we seek to restore all services offered at the Rand Hospital.
In this regard, a Command Centre has been established at the Rand Memorial Hospital to provide information to our clients and the general public. That Command Centre can be accessed at the following numbers, 351-8056 or 7, or 350-6761/2/3.
My Ministry and indeed the Public Hospitals Authority remain grateful to the organizations that partnered with us to accommodate our clients. It was a wonderful reminder of what we can do together.
Once again, I wish to thank our staff here at the Rand for flawlessly executing the Public Hospitals Authority’s disaster plan and for their dedication throughout. Finally, and on a good note, I have been informed, that even with the challenges of a fire in the hospital, our OBGYN Department reported that a patient who began labor at our hospital gave birth to a healthy baby boy at the Sunrise Medical Centre. We extend our congratulations to the parents.
Ladies and gentlemen of the Press,