#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.”
Grants for farmers
#TurksandCaicos, January 31, 2023 – Good Morning to my colleagues in government, I recognize……..and most importantly good morning to the farmers. It is my pleasure today to have you here at this award ceremony. For the very first time in Turks and Caicos, farmers are getting relief for hurricane damage.
This shows that the government is committed to ensuring that the people of the Turks and Caicos Islands have access to a constant and nutritious supply of food, reduce the food import bill and retain money in the local economy. Food Security is the foundation of all human needs. Given the threat to the global supply chain and growing inaccessibility to enough nutritious food, the Government is committed to supporting the farmers to produce local food, to supplement the food requirement of the country. My government’s priority is to provide an enabling environment, to facilitate local investment within the Agriculture Sector as outlined in the People’s Plan for Empowerment
In February last year (2022) my government launched the Agriculture Finance Support Programme (Agro-Grant Incentive). This Finance Support Program for farmers is the first program of this kind in the Turks and Caicos Islands and shows Government’s mandate is to invest heavily in local food production through providing financial support. My government has allocated US$250,000.00 in this first year to promote agriculture development. This Finance Program has 3 areas of support
- Improvement Programmes – to upgrade farms, Existing registered farmers who wish to perform farm upgrades can receive a maximum of $20,000
- New Farm Start Up/Young Entrepreneurs– For new or younger farmers between the ages of 18-25 years can receive a maximum of $15,000
- Disaster Relief – this is specifically in response to National Natural Disasters “Acts of Nature” inclusive of earthquake, hurricane and storms and other approved natural disasters. The value of this grant will be 10% of the assessed damages (up to a maximum of $20,000 USD
To date 12 farmers have received grants in the first 2 categories. Today we are here to give disaster relief to those registered farmers who would have suffered from losses due to the passage of hurricane Fiona in September last year.
Government knows that Farming is an expensive business, farmers livelihood depends on the investment they make on their farms. We live in a small island state that is vulnerable to natural disasters such as hurricane. These disasters can have devastating effects on farms, destroying years of productive work and effort farmers would have put in.
Government in recognizing the important contribution farmers make to Food security and the vulnerabilities they face has moved into action to provide much needed support towards the rebuilding of the farms. Today 15 registered will be receiving funds for disaster relief to assist with their rebuilding efforts. This monies I know will be used for the purposes granted.
I want to thank my Cabinet colleagues and Premier for supporting the continued efforts to grow the Agriculture Sector.
My department of Agriculture recognizes farming is dynamic and as such has lobbied Cabinet for continued support. I am pleased to say that in August last year through a Cabinet Paper, government had approved amending the Agriculture Policy to provide full exemption of import duties for farm vehicles registered farmers can now apply through the department for this support. At that meeting we also agreed for the Department of Agriculture to develop a comprehensive Agro-Incentive Program to support farming in the TCI.
Once again I would like to commend the farmers who are benefiting today for their hard work and dedication and look forward to serving you as your minister
U.S. Supports the RBPF With Additional Crime Fighting Vehicles on The Bahamas’ “Road to 50”
#TheBahamas, January 31, 2023 – Since 1973, the United States and The Bahamas have enjoyed a long-lasting security partnership. To mark this valued friendship, the United States Government, on January 31, 2023, renewed its support for the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) with 20 new Ford Police Inceptor Hybrid SUVs valuing nearly $1.4 million. The United States’ Chargé d’Affaires Usha Pitts; Prime Minister, the Hon. Philip Davis; Minister of National Security, the Hon. Wayne Munroe and RBPF Commissioner Clayton Fernander were on hand for the donation at RBPF East Hill Street Headquarters.
The 20 hybrid vehicles will be added to the 32 vehicles previously donated to the RBPF by the US government to help replace crucial infrastructure lost during Hurricane Dorian. Recovering from a hurricane is an arduous process that requires support at many levels, from roads and housing to mental health services. The U.S. government hopes these vehicles will contribute to one key step in the process: citizen security. These vehicles will not only assist the RBPF’s efforts to combat crime but will also reduce greenhouse gas emissions on the islands.
In her remarks Chargé Pitts noted, “these vehicles are just one example of the United States’ continued efforts to help for The Bahamas’ keep its citizens and visitors safe.”
Prime Minister Philip Davis showed his appreciation for this timely vehicle donation as it will assist with added capacity and increased saturation patrols on the streets. The Prime Minister added that residents will notice an increased police presence and the police will have new capacity to respond quickly to any criminal activity.
RBPF Commissioner Clayton Fernander highlighted that “we have noticeably taken more illegal firearms and ammunition off our streets in 2022. We have also seized more illegal drugs including marijuana and marijuana plants than in [previous] years. Suffice to say, we have efficiently utilized all 32 vehicles previously donated by the U.S. government in our crime fighting efforts.”
In recent years, the U.S. Government, through U.S. Embassy Nassau, has delivered more than $25 million to assist The Bahamas with efforts to fight crime. On behalf of the Bahamian people, Minister of National Security Wayne Munroe extended his gratitude for the U.S. government’s assistance noting “It seems that when we’re together there [is] always an occasion where they [U.S. government] have helped us and assisted us substantially.”
Captions: Credited to U.S. Embassy Nassau
Minister of Health & Wellness thanks Cuban nurses for their service during the COVID-19 Pandemic
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