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BAHAMAS: The healthcare system faced with aged health facilities

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#Bahamas, March 13, 2018 – Nassau – Minister of Health the Hon. Dr. Duane Sands said the country’s healthcare system is faced with aged health facilities that were built in the 1980s and have experienced significant natural disasters, as many are close to the coast and vulnerable to environmental hazards.

“We must continually repair to maintain services at our facilities.”  Dr. Sands said during his Contribution to the Mid-term Budget Debate in the House of Assembly, Monday, March 12, 2018.

He said the current outstanding projected infrastructure cost for improvement on community clinics approximates some $46,580,000.

“I am pleased to report that the West End Community Clinic opened late last year.”

Dr. Sands explained that this government administration came into office with the side opposite having promised the world in terms of repairs and refurbishment of the healthcare facilities throughout the archipelago.

“We are unable to fund the proposed infrastructure improvements in our clinics as there was no money.  Hence, we have had to put many infrastructural projects on hold as the staff work assiduously to ensure our people are cared for in a safe environment.”

He said limited capital development work continues at healthcare institutions.  By mid-April, the Corey Newbold Ward in the Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) will be re-opened following a complete renovation programme to the 40-bed ward.  This will reduce the protracted wait times for admissions and theatre services.

The Health Minister said that plans are also underway for the redevelopment of the East Wing block of PMH to reduce the shortages of public ward beds and renovate/upgrade relevant areas for improved access and environments of care for public patients.

Key public patient areas to be addressed are Eye Ward, Maternity Ward, Children’s Ward, and Male Surgical Wards.  The consolidation, renovation and upgrade of all Private Services to one area of the hospital is also planned with a view to improving opportunities for revenue generation for the public health authority.

He said, “I am very pleased to report that my Ministry has initiated an Emergency and Urgent Care Services project.

“The overall goal of this important project is to improve my Ministry’s response to the critical needs of residents in New Providence for emergency and urgent care. This multifaceted project will, on the one end, address non-life threatening/urgent care treatment in the community clinics; and on the other end, focus on the Accident & Emergency Department to ensure true emergencies are better accommodated and managed for timely and quality care.”

The urgent care component of this project will begin at the South Beach Health Centre and the Elizabeth Estates Clinic.  The project seeks to improve workflows, policies and procedures, information management, customer service, staffing, and availability of services to the population.

More specifically, the project will seek to decompress A&E Department and reduce wait times, overcrowding and upgrade the patient care environment.

Dr. Sands said the renovation and upgrading of the A&E Department at PMH is specifically targeted with emphasis on decanting planning to minimise interruptions to essential services. It is anticipated that the phased renovation will span 12-14 months once initiated.

The Health Minister said, “The Infrastructure Working Group continues to work to establish realistic timelines and budgets for each phase, inclusive of equipment and furniture needs.  We are eagerly looking to fast-track the process to begin works within a three-month timeframe.”

Plans for the Rand Memorial Hospital

He noted that at the Rand Memorial Hospital, funds have been identified to execute the upgrading and expansion of much needed clinical space.

This will be achieved following the relocation of the Kitchen and Cafeteria to the property adjacent to the Rand Memorial (former Island Palm Hotel).

A connecting corridor is being constructed between the two properties that will also accommodate physician offices, on-call rooms; and relocated Security and Telephone Services. Additionally, the General Practice and CNCD Clinics are being relocated to the IAT Building (a rented facility) located opposite the Rand Hospital.

He said, “This additional clinical space affords the opportunity to extend the hours of operation for these services from 8:00 a.m. to midnight and institute a patient appointment system.

“This ultimately will improve patient access, satisfaction and reduce wait times. This move will also afford the desired result of better responding to the critical needs in the Accident & Emergency Department at this hospital.”

Plans for Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre

Dr. Sands said at Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre, renovation of the now vacant Child & Adolescent Ward to establish a new Forensic Psychiatry service is expected to meet the current and immediate future needs of this high-risk patient population.

He said, “Historically, 90 per cent of forensic psychiatry patients are referred from the courts and the remaining 10 per cent are transferred from the Bahamas Correctional Services Department.

“Presently, all patients are admitted to SRC’s New Eloise Penn Ward, resulting in severe overcrowding.  In the outpatient setting, community forensic services are offered at the Community Counseling & Assessment Centre (CCAC) in a rather limited capacity.”

 

 

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Invest Turks and Caicos Attended Caribbean Hotel Investment Conference & Operations Summit

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#TurksandCaicos, November 24, 2021 – Invest Turks and Caicos (Invest TCI) is pleased to announce the Agency’s participation in the 10TH Caribbean Hotel Investment Conference & Operations Summit (CHICOS) held November 10th-12th, 2021, at the Grand Hyatt Baha Mar in Nassau, Bahamas.

CHICOS is one of the premier hospitality conferences in the region. In its 10th year, this event brought together more than 300 regional and international investors and operators and the region’s leading decision makers – all to discuss the region’s markets and possibilities.

Invest TCI participated in the Caribbean Government Leaders plenary session on Friday, November 12th, alongside the Bahamas Investment Authority, Invest St. Lucia, and JAMPRO. The plenary discussions focused on the investment environment of Caribbean economies in a post covid environment under two key themes: diversification of the economy and tourism and the need for greater involvement of (and positive impact on) local communities.

Attending the summit on behalf of Invest TCI was Interim CEO, Angela Musgrove and Legal and Compliance Officer, Judith Garland.

Commenting on the summit, Ms. Garland stated, “I was delighted to represent the Agency at the 10th Anniversary edition of CHICOS. I found the sessions engaging, and the industry trends and knowledge imparted was most valuable. It was great to meet new faces and establish relationships with industry colleagues, which can present mutually beneficial partnerships and relationships in the future.

Interim CEO Angela Musgrove stated, “Invest TCI will continue to support and leverage industry conferences to promote opportunities in the Turks and Caicos Islands. This is the Agency’s 5th year attending CHICOS, and it has allowed us to directly engage with potential investors and prospects interested in doing business in the TCI. Through these types of events, the Agency can continue to proactively target new investment opportunities, lucrative partnerships, and financial opportunities that contribute to overall economic development.”

For more information on upcoming events, visit our website at investturksandcaicos.tc.

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Bahamian Para-Athlete Erin Brown to Become Godmother of RC’s Odyssey of The Seas

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#TheBahamas, November 24, 2021 – A Bahamian woman who lost her leg to cancer and went on to defy odds and inspire thousands will be named godmother of Royal Caribbean International’s Odyssey of the Seas. Erin Brown, a 41-year-old mother of two and a para-triathlete who cycles, runs, swims and competes at an international level, will accept the honour at a special ceremony in Florida later this week.

“From the moment we heard the story of Erin, how her courage and determination in the face of adversity inspired others and led to a more inclusive consciousness about succeeding with disabilities, we were moved and knew she was a great candidate for godmother of our newest ship, Odyssey of the Seas,” said Michael Bayley, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. “A godmother serves as the guiding spirit of the ship and brings good luck and safe travels to its crew and guests.”

While she was in college participating as a track and field athlete, Brown was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer called osteosarcoma after suffering a fall that resulted in a broken leg. After more than a year of chemotherapy, her tumor showed no signs of shrinking, and Brown made the difficult decision to amputate her limb above the knee. Brown, who watched her own mother struggle for five years before losing her battle with lupus linked to cancer, knew she had to keep going because her child depended on her. She underwent surgery and woke up to one less leg. “Mind over matter,” she repeated. And then, she re-invented herself.

She said she recognizes now that her disability was a signal to start over. The first time she completed the 100-mile cycling event, Ride for Hope, raising money for cancer research, education and prevention, she led a group of adaptive athletes who heard the thunderous applause and cheers from the crowd that had witnessed the one-legged cyclist achieve what few with two legs could on the hilly terrain.

“A sudden change like the one I experienced is just an opportunity to rebrand yourself to yourself and to society. All those skills you had before – you still have them,” said Brown who has gone on to become an advocate for rights for the disabled and works at the University of The Bahamas as the compliance officer and counselor for the physically challenged.

“Having Erin as our godmother is a fitting way for us to pay tribute to The Bahamas,” said Bayley. “Our company’s very first port of call outside the U. S. was to The Bahamas more than 50 years ago. To this day, Nassau remains one of our most popular ports of call and Perfect Day at CocoCay remains our top pick by our guests. We are excited about this ceremony and honouring our long-time partners, as well as the newest Bahamian flagged ship in our fleet.”

 

Photo Caption: Erin Brown, who calls herself a limb-difference individual, will be named the first Bahamian Godmother of a Royal Caribbean International vessel when she presides over the naming of Odyssey of the Seas.

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Sandals Foundation donates to skills training programs in Nassau

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#TheBahamas, November 24, 2021 – The clothing, textile and art and craft programs at CC Sweeting High School and Aquinas College recently received a major boost from Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort and Offshore Island, through their charity arm, the Sandals Foundation.

The resort, which is currently undergoing a multi-million-dollar overhaul generously, donated bolts of fabric to both schools. This came after Regional Projects Coordinator, Kerry Ann Fung and her team alerted the Foundation about the fabrics as they felt that the schools would benefit greatly from them.

Sandals Royal Bahamian’s General Manager, Adrian Whitehead did the handover and shared that while the resort’s doors may be closed, their hands and hearts remain open to the people of Bahamas.

“We are resolute about giving back to this country in any way that we can. I’m delighted that Aquinas and CC Sweeting will make good use of the fabric and that it will help students to develop the skills they need to create sustainable and expansive change in society. As we continue with the work on the resort, we plan on donating so much more in the coming weeks,” he shared.

He added that properly resourced learning environments form a huge part of Sandals’ commitment to education, as transformative initiatives have been the Sandals Foundation’s goal since its inception in 2009.

Principal at Aquinas College, Mrs. Shona Knowles who received the fabric on behalf of the school shared that the fabric will be used to aid in the inculcation of entrepreneurial skills in students.

“We have a very vibrant art and craft department. The fabric we received from the resort will be used by students for art projects where they make things like handbags, cushions, stool and bench covers and other artistic pieces. We also have plans to use some of the fabric to design backdrops for multimedia purposes,” she said.

“We are grateful to Sandals Royal Bahamian? and are certainly looking forward to a long-term partnership between the Resort and our school,” declared Knowles.

In addition to other donations that the resort plans on making, come December, the Sandals Foundation will be spreading joy with a toy through its annual Christmas Toy Drive. This initiative will see them donating close to 2000 toys to children from various schools and communities in New Providence and Exuma.

The Toy Drive has been a staple calendar event for more than 10 years through generous donations from United States toy company, Hasbro and the kind support of Sandals and Beaches Resorts team members, guests, travel agents and partners.

Release: Sandals Foundation

Photo Caption:  Principal at Aquinas College, Shona Knowles accepts fabric donation on behalf of her school from Sandals Royal Bahamian’s General Manager, Adrian Whitehead.

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