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Newly Elected MPs make inaugural tour of Cheshire Hall Medical Centre to assess the COVID-19 response

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#TurksandCaicos, March 1, 2021 – The incoming Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, Agriculture, Sports and Human Services, Honorable Erwin Jay Saunders, and Member of Parliament, Honorable Jamell Robinson conducted a tour of the Cheshire Hall Medical Centre in Providenciales on Tuesday, February 23rd 2021 to review the hospital’s current operational status and the COVID-19 response.

The island of Providenciales has been the epicenter for COVID-19 cases and the medical center has cared for 98% of COVID-19 patient admissions. The national management and stabilization of the COVID-19 pandemic is a major issue on the incoming Government’s agenda, and the newly elected officials were eager to understand the latest developments at the secondary health care level.

Chief Executive Officer at InterHealth Canada – Turks and Caicos Islands Hospital, Dr Denise Braithwaite-Tennant and General Manager of Facilities, Martin Dawtry, spearheaded the 2-hour tour. Special areas of interest were the hospital’s 749 square meter shelled space, which can be developed to increase the hospital’s capacity as a long-term resolution. The area was constructed since the inception of the hospital as a spare unfinished space for any future expansion needs, and is temporarily used as storage for hospital supplies.

The Outpatient Department renovation project was another key area. The duo examined 12 consultation rooms, which were retrofitted with medical gas lines for oxygen support, inpatient beds and other biomedical equipment late last year. Resources are pre-deployed into the area only under circumstances where the number of COVID-19 patient admissions exceed the bed capacity of the General Wards. Six Outpatient Department consultation rooms were also retrofitted at the Cockburn Town Medical Centre in Grand Turk for the same purpose.

Other departments visited during the tour include the Maternity Ward, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, General Ward, Surgical Suites, Radiology, Laboratory, the Emergency Department and designated areas used for the assessment of suspected and confirmed COVID-19 cases. The tour was followed by an introductory meeting with the hospital’s senior management team. The incoming elected officials are due to be officially sworn into parliament this week after the national General Election, which was held on February 19TH, 2021.

Commenting on the tour, Honorable Erwin Jay Saunders stated: “It was a great tour. I am happy that we were able to conduct this tour of the facility from the top to the bottom to see what is happening. I believe the team is doing a fantastic job with the available resources, and we look forward to working with InterHealth Canada – Turks and Caicos Islands Hospital in a partnership approach to provide the community with quality health care.”

Honorable Jamell Robinson stated: “As a first visit, it was great to see the inner workings of the TCI Hospital as a Member of Parliament rather than a patient. I think we are blessed to have the facility and the ability to do the type of expansion that we need to be able to cater to our normal patients, in addition to our response to the COVID-19 pandemic that is ongoing. It is very promising, and we look forward to working closely with InterHealth Canada – Turks and Caicos Islands Hospital and the Ministry of Health to stabilize the pandemic until the vaccines have been fully distributed.”

Chief Executive Officer at InterHealth Canada – Turks and Caicos Islands Hospital, Dr Denise Braithwaite -Tennant said: “It was a very productive visit, and we are grateful that the Members of Parliament took the opportunity to see the excellent groundwork that has been reached with the Outpatient Department Renovation Project, and other projects that were achieved collaboratively with the TCI Government. It was also important for the MP’s to examine the shelled space as this is a pivotal moment in time that requires a discussion on the development of this space to expand critical care and additional inpatient beds. This would allow us to remain sustainable and resilient for the future.”

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Statement on Incident Involving Visitor on 2nd October 2022

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#TurksandCaicos, October 4, 2022 – The Government of the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) regrets the unfortunate incident involving the death of a visitor to our islands on 2nd October 2022.  The incident which occurred was accidental and not one in which the victim was targeted.  While the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police force (RTCIPF) continues their investigations, we wish to reassure the public (citizens, residents, and visitors alike) that the safety and security of all, is our top priority.

The TCI has long established itself as a safe destination for visitors from around the world.  Evidence of this can be seen in the countless awards the destination has won, most recently at the World Travel Awards.  Our commitment to providing safety to residents and visitors is unwavering.  The government will continue to work with local authorities including the RTCIPF and our partners in the international community to protect residents and visitors alike.

The incident which occurred on the date mentioned above is one that is rare and does not reflect who we are as a people.  On behalf of the government and people of these islands, we extend our sympathies to the family and friends of the victim.

As this matter is now an on-going police investigation, further statements will be referred to RTCIPF.

The TCI remains a safe destination and the government is working assiduously for it to remain as such.

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Brave presentation in defence of Bahamas’ financial services reputation by PM Davis

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By Sherrica Thompson

Staff Writer

 

#TheBahamas, October 1, 2022 – Prime Minister of the Bahamas Phillip ‘Brave’ Davis is again calling for equality in the financial services sector and for the United Nations to leverage its universal jurisdiction for greater oversight of global anti-money laundering de-risking and tax cooperation matters.

In addressing the United Nations General Assembly on Saturday, September 24, Prime Minister Davis said the Bahamas is one of the best-regulated countries in the world, yet it has been under attack by international bodies and placed on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) blacklist while transgressions in the developed world are ignored.

He questioned why this was the case and highlighted some disparities in the financial sector.

“Why is it that European states that operate frameworks akin to that of high-risk or blacklisted countries, are not even eligible for inclusion on these lists? Why are all the countries targeted – all of them – small and vulnerable, and former colonies of European states? We find it astounding that the $2-$3 trillion dollars which is estimated to be laundered each year through the developed countries, are never flagged as causes for concern,” articulated Phillip Davis, addressing the 77th session in New York.

Prime Minister Davis further noted that there are elements of racism in the decision-making when it comes to regulating black-governed countries in the financial services sector. He also declared that black-governed countries matter as well.

And yet my country, which is widely recognized as one of the best-regulated countries in the world, and other countries like The Bahamas, are singled-out for such reputational attacks? The robust regulatory regimes of our Central Bank, Securities Commission, and Insurance Commission, are chastised on minor details of technical process, while much bigger transgressions in the developed world are ignored.

The evidence is mounting, that the considerations behind these decisions have less to do with compliance, and more to do with darker issues of pre-judged, discriminatory perceptions. Black-governed countries also matter.”

 Davis also highlighted the need for reforms that apply to all in the global financial system.

“Mr. President: We support the call for reforms in the global financial system to make it more relevant to the needs of today. But those reforms need ambition. They need to go beyond the incremental. And they need to apply to all. For example, the community of international financial institutions are in a position to forgive the debt incurred by the economic shutdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic. They should do so.”

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Will US President Biden deliver on Climate Change funding?

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#USA, October 1, 2022 – US President Joe Biden has reiterated his promise that low income countries, which are also low carbon emitters will receive increased climate aid from the US to the tune of $11 billion per year.

The President was speaking at the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly recently where he maintained his administration was working with Congress to get the funds which would ‘help lower-income countries implement their climate goals and ensure a just energy transition.’

The plan was announced in September 2021 and is a reflection of the USA’s part in the 2010 global pledge made by developed countries to give $100 billion annually in climate financing to developing nations each year.  Biden has indicated that the plan will be in effect by 2024.

While he stressed at the UN that the need is ‘enormous’ the President is having trouble convincing lawmakers at home.  So far the funding which must be approved by Congress has not materialized. The United States Congress is known for having a particularly tight hold on the national purse in regards to climate change funding.

In fact congress dedicated only a little over $1 billion to climate change this year according to Bloomberg.  The US also has a history of promising funding for climate change but not delivering on those high priced promises.

Whether this $11 billion will actually get to nations like those in the Caribbean region is yet to be seen.

This year, the General Assembly heard from 190 speakers, including 76 Heads of State, 50 Heads of Government, four Vice-Presidents, five Deputy Prime Ministers, 48 Ministers and seven Heads of Delegations according to General Assembly President Csaba Kőrösi as he summed up the first in-person General Debate since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

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