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Bahamas DPM says, ‘The country is moving in the right direction’



#Bahamas, February 23, 2018 – Nassau – Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, the Hon. Peter Turnquest said based on the performance in the first half of fiscal year 2017/18, the country is moving in the right direction.

“Compared with the first six months of Fiscal Year 2016/17, the fiscal performance has turned in a $92.3 million or 61.4 per cent reduction in the overall deficit—to $198.0 million, from $290.3 million in Fiscal Year 2016/17,” the DPM said in a ‘State of the Economy Report,’ hosted by the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers Confederation at Atlantis, Paradise Island, February 21, 2018.

He said gains in revenues of $24.8 million are supported by a $67.5 million or 43.6 per cent reduction in spending; comparisons with the budget show revenues running at some 41 per cent of the target and adjusted recurrent and capital spending, at 44.7 per cent and 33 per cent, of their respective targets.

“We believe that the measures taken, and those in the pipeline, have the ability to help restore fiscal discipline and place the finances on a sustainable path for the benefit of all Bahamians.  However, we would acknowledge that these measures alone will not get us to where we want and need to be.

“Most importantly, we must grow our economy and do so in a sustained way; additionally, if our fiscal plans are to be sustainable, they need to be reinforced by other administrative and legislative initiatives designed to bolster credibility, in a transparent and accountable manner.”

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The DPM explained that last year, he introduced to the public, the public financial management reform measures underway to deliver more efficient and effective allocation and use of public funds, by addressing cumbersome processes and inconsistent and outdated practices in our public financial management activities.

“An important element of the Public Financial Management reform agenda focuses on bringing greater transparency, fairness and efficiency to bear on public procurement activities.”

He said public procurement is big business for governments, and equally as big are the temptations and opportunities for corruption, collusion, fraud and manipulation.

“For The Bahamas, more than $1.475 billion or an estimated 13 per cent of Gross Domestic Product was spent in FY2016/17 to acquire goods and services —underscoring the imperative for the Government to obtain value for monies spent.”

The DPM said the first stage in these reform efforts was marked by the recently launched pilot phase of the Government eProcurement portal—a single access point—where all announcements, documents and information about tender participants, summary of bid evaluation reports, and notice of procurement awards will be published.

“All suppliers interested in doing business with the Government have been invited to register their businesses by uploading all of the requisite documents via the portal.”

He said work is also well advanced on finalizing the draft public procurement legislation that will bring the regulatory framework closer in line with international standards and best practices.  Some of the areas covered in the legislation are the establishment of a public procurement department; a public procurement board, and a public review tribunal to provide persons with an avenue for recourse.

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“The most critical element of this procurement reform will be the requirement that all tenders and bid offers be published publicly online and that all successful bid offers accepted by government also be awarded.  This, ladies and gentlemen, changes the game for all stakeholders.”

The DPM explained that these same principles of transparency and competition are behind the Government’s recent decision to engage the services of the Caribbean Development Bank to formulate a Public, Private Partnership.  Having clear and transparent policy guidance for all stakeholders will ensure that the Government is identifying the right private sector partner and carrying out the required analysis of all risks, while easing the burden on public resources.

DPM Turnquest said, “These reforms are long overdue, but once completed will increase the ease of doing business with the Government, make procurement processes more transparent and competitive, and are generally supportive of the Government’s overall goal of restoring the public’s trust in its management of public funds.

By: Llonella Gilbert (BIS)

Photo Caption:  Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, the Hon. Peter Turnquest brings remarks at the ‘State of the Economy Report’ hosted by the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers Confederation (BCCEC) at Atlantis, February 21, 2018.  Looking on from left are CEO, BCCEC, Edison Sumner and Chairman, BCCEC, Mike Maura, Jr.

(BIS Photo/Patrick Hanna)



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Royal Caribbean to open adults only private island destination



Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer


#TheBahamas, September 19, 2023 – Royal Caribbean is working on a major project, announcing plans to open a new adults-only “escape” Hideaway Beach at its CocoCay private-island destination in The Bahamas, come January 2024.

The “beachfront paradise,” set to be situated at the western side of Perfect Day at CocoCay, behind Thrill Waterpark, will have a private beach and multiple pools with DJ music, 20 private cabanas and several spots for “drinks and bites,” the company says.

Not only that, it will include a “hidden VIP experience.”

Michael Bayley, Royal Caribbean International President and CEO is of the impression that this will bring a compelling, sought after new way to enjoy a day at its private island.

He said, “Hideaway Beach is a completely new vibe and experience that vacationers are looking for on Perfect Day at CocoCay.”

It is going to be a getaway spot for adults, only 18 or older allowed to enter.

“Everything from its hidden-like location to the exclusive beach and pools to the private cabanas is designed for adults who want a day just for them,” the CEO said.

The space, according to Claudia Diaz-Gonzalez, Royal Caribbean Associate Vice President of Private Destination Development, will be able to host between 1,500 and 2,000 guests.

No specific day was provided for the opening.

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Eleuthera Medical Center Marks 5 Years, Private community clinic ‘grows with the demand’, adds Dental and Dermatology to slate of services



#Eleuthera, The Bahamas, September 19, 2023 – A Family Island clinic that started with a vision to serve the community with the best in private medical care and wellness regardless of a patient’s financial standing celebrated its fifth anniversary this month, announcing new services it said were those most strongly requested by patients.

Eleuthera Medical Center (EMC), the flagship of Bahamas Wellness Health Systems, marked its anniversary adding dental and dermatology to its growing list of medical specialties that includes primary wellness, vision, gynecology and pediatrics. Some services are offered on an ongoing daily basis provided by physicians at one of Bahamas Wellness Health Systems (BWHS) four clinics, others are offered on a rotating basis by visiting medical specialists and associates on a regularly scheduled rotating basis.

“When we opened our doors to this clinic in 2018, we knew there was a need for full-time medical care and especially attention to wellness in Eleuthera,” said EMC and Bahamas Wellness Health Systems founder Dr. Arlington Lightbourne. “But we underestimated how appreciative the community would be that there were always physicians on call, that in the case of an emergency we could respond, that we provided an ambulance and emergency care saving patients from having to be airlifted to Nassau or beyond.”

Lightbourne said the years have not been without challenges.

“For nearly 18 months, we endured COVID, conducting testing outdoors, trying to keep our spirits strong and staff well so they could care for others and yet in a small community like Eleuthera where you know someone in everyone’s family it’s hard not to feel the pain and suffering others feel,” said Dr. Lightbourne. “But we doubled down and said we are here for the long haul and whatever the path is to provide the best in care, to make that care affordable and to improve the wellness of the community overall, that is the journey we are on, and it has been an incredibly rewarding one.”

To support that emphasis on wellness, the clinic located in the settlement of Palmetto Point adjacent to Governors Harbour in the heart of central Eleuthera, offers regularly scheduled lectures and town meetings with a nutritionist and wellness expert who is part of the team. Lightbourne’s interest in well-being stems from his work in Emergency Care at both PMH and Doctors Hospital where the vast number of cases he treated were the result of non-communicable diseases and conditions including heart attacks, high blood pressure and cancer related to lifestyle – poor diet high in fats and low in nutrition and lack of proper physical exercise.

Today, he said he is seeing more interest in preventative care, a sign that Bahamians learned from Covid and its aftermath that wellness matters.

“We have a brighter future ahead of us and I am proud of what we are doing in Eleuthera and our other clinics to make a difference in The Bahamas with careful diagnoses and individual attention to how people conduct their daily lives when it comes to their overall wellness,” said Lightbourne, now the deputy director of the Bahamas Medical Association and an authorized NHI provider.

BHWS also operates clinics in Nassau, Spanish Wells and Lower Bogue.


Photo Caption: The Hon. Clay Sweeting, MP, Central and South Eleuthera, welcomes the Bahamas Wellness Medical Center’s ambulance. He is pictured with Dr. Jessica Moss, Emergency Medicine Specialist and Vice President & Medical Director at Eleuthera Medical Center, and Dr. Arlington Lightbourne, founder of the expanding clinic, which is celebrating its fifth anniversary serving the community by adding dental and dermatology to its growing list of specializations.

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Coral Harbour Base, 18 September. ‘23 (RBDF): The Royal Bahamas Defence Force was honoured to attend a Day of Celebration at the Mall at Marathon on the occasion of  Brazil’s 201st Day of Independence (7th September, 2023). The occasion also marked a celebration of friendship and unity.

In a remarkable display of cultural exchange and diplomatic ties, Young Officers led by Lieutenant Blair Bethel, joined in the celebration. Against the backdrop of cultural exchange, Brazilian Singer Ellen Oléria held a special musical performance bringing a taste of Brazil’s vibrant culture to The Bahamas. Her performance showcased the infectious rhythms of Portuguese music commemorating their rich history and vibrant culture.

The RBDF, under the leadership of Commander Defence Force, Commodore Raymond E. King, is dedicated to the meaningful involvement and development of service members as we share the responsibility for accomplishing the Defence Force’s Mandate. The Royal Bahamas Defence Force extends its congratulations to the people of Brazil during this momentous occasion as we look forward to fostering mutual understanding and building a brighter future between The Bahamas and Brazil.

For additional information, kindly reach out to the RBDF Public Relations Department or visit our official website at Connected with us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest updates, and explore our engaging content on our YouTube channel.



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