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Doctors Hospital takes over well-known clinic in Eight Mile Rock By Andrew Coakley



#TheBahamas, November 24, 2021 – Minister of Social Services and Urban Development, the Hon. Obie Wilchcombe says Doctor’s Hospital’s acquisition of the clinic in Eight Mile Rock, owned by Dr. Malik Kavala, represents a transition that will bring even better health care to the people of West Grand Bahama. He called it “a gift just before Christmas.”

The official renaming of the Kavala Medical Clinic, which has been a long-time staple in Eight Mile Rock, to Doctors Hospital, took place on Monday, November 22, 2021, in a short ceremony, where Minister Wilchcombe served as the keynote speaker.

“This is an important day in Grand Bahama, an important day, specifically for the people of West Grand Bahama, who, from time to time, had complained about the lack of consistent, adequate service in proper medical service. Or those of us who complained about the long drive to Freeport to seek out medical care,” said Minister Wilchcombe.

“So, today, you can appreciate my exuberance. The fact that I am so overjoyed with this new relationship, that I would like to thank Doctors Hospital. You are now setting an example for your private sector to reach out to the West and understand that people live here in West Grand Bahama too.”

Minister Wilchcombe pointed out the fact that a large portion of the population on the island of Grand Bahama live in the West, adding that too often most of the events, businesses and entertainment have only been concentrated in Freeport, dictating that Grand Bahamians living in the West travel the distance.

However, Minister Wilchcombe said if there can be a cause or reason for the transformation of communities in West Grand Bahama, by allowing the private sector to move in and bring with them all of the professionalism that is required within that community, then they would be setting a new trend.

“And for that, I thank you,” said Minister Wilchcombe.

“I also want to celebrate the fact that Doctor’s Hospital has assembled such an outstanding team of Bahamians. Two years from now, we will be fifty years old as a nation and look where God has brought us from. Look at what we have achieved. Often times we have ignored the fact that this has taken time and we don’t appreciate the incredible journey that our people have made. If we can reach out and establish partnerships with Cleveland Clinic and others because of the service they provide, imagine the future possibilities.

“I want to congratulate Doctors Hospital and I want to specifically congratulate its president. I also want to congratulate Dr. Kavala.

“Dr. Kavala, You are exceptional. You’re an iconic figure in this community.

Everyone knows you and we all celebrate you. You have touched so many lives.

You’re the one people call on when there is nowhere else to go. Our entire Grand Bahama and The Bahamas must offer you congratulations and thanks for all that you’ve done for the people of this community over the many years. We love you and we truly appreciate you.”

The Social Services and Urban Development Minister said this present government and successive Progressive Liberal Party governments have always been committed to health care, while holding on to a general, social philosophy – to heal the sick, feed the poor, guide the youth and bring peace to every heart.

Minister Wilchcombe pointed out that when the PLP party was first elected in 1967, the whole idea was to eliminate ignorance, disease and poverty. A mission, he said, is one which the party still pursues even to this day.

“As God would have it, I now have an opportunity and a responsibility to reach out to those persons in our country today, many who are homeless or living in abject poverty,” said Minister Wilchcombe.  “In Grand Bahama, 9.7 percent, in the capital 12.4 percent and in the Family Islands 17.2 percent of the people are living in poverty. Too many of our people are living in poverty or are homeless.  We all have a responsibility to help, but the only way it works is if we have a partnership. So, when you have this kind of partnership between Doctors hospital and Dr. Kavala, then we can help even more people and bring more opportunities for better health care for the people in West Grand Bahama.

“So, I congratulate Doctors Hospital for taking up the mantle to carry on the tradition of great health care for the people here in Eight Mile Rock and in West Grand Bahama. I also want to assure Dr. Kavala that what he has done for the people of this community for so many years has been greatly appreciated and will never be forgotten.”


By Andrew Coakley

Release: BIS

Header: Minister of Social Services and urban Renewal, Hon. Obie Wilchcombe (right), stands with Dr. Malik Kavala and his wife in front of the new sign at the clinic, which was unveiled at an official renaming ceremony on Monday, November 22, 2021. After close to fifty years of serving the people of Eight Mile Rock and West Grand Bahama, Dr. Kavala is retiring at 75 years old and handing his clinic and its facilities over to Doctors Hospital. At left is Senator Kirkland Russell, who brought remarks on behalf of the Minister for Grand Bahama.

Insert: Minister of Social Services and Urban Development, the Hon. Obie Wilchcombe was the keynote speaker during the official handing over of the Kavala Medical Clinic to Doctors Hospital, during a brief ceremony on Monday, November 22, 2021.


(BIS Photo/Andrew Miller)

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Bahamas News

Bahamas and Germany Enter Agreement to Facilitate Direct Airlift



#TheBahamas, December 4, 2021 – The governments of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, and of the Federal Republic of Germany entered into a technical bilateral Heads of Agreement aimed at fostering closer ties between both countries.  A central feature is an Air Traffic Agreement to facilitate direct flights from Germany to The Bahamas, which would in turn facilitate movement of goods and services, ease of direct shipment as opposed to going through a third country, among other things.

The HOA was signed during a ceremony at the Ministry of Works & Utilities on Tuesday, November 30, 2021.  The Hon Alfred Sears, who served as Acting Minister of Tourism, Investments & Aviation, and His Excellency Dr. Stefan Keil, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to The Bahamas signed the agreement.  Also present were: Permanent Secretary Reginald Saunders, Ministry of Tourism Investment & Aviation; Luther Smith, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Works & Utilities; Bacchus Rolle, Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Works & Utilities; Melanie Roach, Director of Public Works; and Carl Christian Illing, Honorary Consul of the Federal Republic of Germany, Bahamas.

Mr. Sears said it was a pleasure both countries entered into such an agreement, which he deemed would bring together, two peoples.

The Bahamas and Germany formed diplomatic ties in 1974 and have enjoyed successes in commercial enterprise, tourism and family ties as many Bahamians live in Germany.

“This relationship has been growing and this (agreement) represents the ease of travel, business and social interaction between our two countries,” Mr. Sears said, adding that Bahamians consume and use German products namely vehicles, pharmaceuticals and other items.

In other areas, Mr. Sears noted that The Bahamas is one of the most vulnerable countries in the world susceptible to effects of global warming. He thanked Germany for its role in the recent COP26 held in Glasgow, Scotland, during which that country pledged some twenty million Euros for disaster risk reduction initiatives.

He recalled Hurricane Dorian, which struck Abaco and Grand Bahama from September 1-3, 2019 and, as a result, residents in the path experienced storm surges 20 feet high, many lives were lost, clinics, other public buildings and infrastructure were damaged and/or destroyed, and The Bahamas lost a large portion of its GDP.

“The commitment of Germany resonates with us,” Mr. Sears said, “as we rebuild and build the infrastructure stronger.”

The minister shared the possibility of acquiring more vehicles from Germany, targeting more stopover visitors from there with projection of higher spend and enjoyment of more cultural activities.  Permanent Secretary Saunders supported this, by confirming that direct air travel is being facilitated through the agreement.

Ambassador Keil too acknowledged the close relationship between both countries, and that the technical agreement will further strengthen those ties.


By Lindsay Thompson


Photo Caption: Photos show Minister Sears and Ambassador Keil during the signing ceremony at the Ministry of Works & Utilities, November 30, 2021.

(BIS Photos/Yontalay Bowe)



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Caribbean News




The fastest internet just got even faster…for the same great price


Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands – 1st, December 2021 –  Digicel+ is gifting The Turks and Caicos Islands faster home fibre speeds for Christmas, and beyond. Fulfilling the brand promise of Simply More (more power, more speed and more reliability), customers will now benefit from up to 2x faster download speeds on broadband and bundle plans.

This is all about a better experience for customers, and not about the cost. This free upgrade gives Digicel+ customers an even better home fibre internet experience, for anyone, on any device. And as part and parcel of the digital lifestyle, Digicel+ is the gateway to a Smart Life, which means that state-of-the-art Smart Solutions like Smart Homes and Smart Security are no longer just concepts, but a powerful reality.

Addison Stoddard CEO of Digicel TCI said, “This Christmas, we’re excited to reward customers with a super slick, superfast, super reliable home fibre experience, underpinned by service delivery that is, of course, second to none. Our entry-level plans are the fastest on the island and this puts us head and shoulders above any other internet offering in the country.”

The upgraded packages now start with download speeds of 50Mbps, and go up to 300Mbps for the speed demons and heavy gamers out there. This allows the Turks and Caicos Islands to connect to the global knowledge economy, have amazing entertainment options, and power their personal and professional experiences, thanks to these new superfast internet speeds.

Addison Stoddard continued, “It’s more of what our customers expect; more of what they want and it’s another way that we can be a part of our customers’ digital lives – at home, on the go, anywhere and everywhere. Simply put, Digicel+ is simply more.”

Over the past two years, the COVID-19 pandemic has solidified the importance of having a steady, powerful and reliable home internet connection, mainly due to many schools going online and parents working remotely. Now, with even faster internet speeds, customers get the best home fibre experience every time. This provides opportunities for MORE working, MORE schooling, MORE gaming, and MORE streaming with Digicel+.

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Bahamas News

Guys, Have 2 Minutes? Here’s How to Check Yourself for Testicular Cancer



Testicular cancer is a rare form of cancer for men in The Bahamas.  It is highly curable — if you know it’s there!


November 30, 2021 – Men…how often do you perform a self-exam to check yourselves for testicular cancer?

While it’s a relatively rare form of cancer, young men aren’t exempt – in fact, testicular cancer occurs most often in young and middle-aged men. The good news is, it can usually be treated successfully.

The most common symptom of testicular cancer is a lump on your testicle. But that’s not the only sign of this disease.

Men who have testicular cancer may experience several different kinds of symptoms, says oncologist Timothy Gilligan, MD, a Medical Oncologist at Cleveland Clinic who specializes in treating testicular cancer.

Testicular cancer most frequently strikes men younger than age 44, and is the most commonly diagnosed cancer for men ages 15 to 34. It is almost always curable if found early, Dr. Gilligan says, and it is usually curable even when at a later stage. So it’s important to know signs and symptoms.

Here, Dr. Gilligan says, are five possible signs of testicular cancer you might not know about:

5 Testicular Cancer Symptoms That Aren’t a Lump  – Know what to look for and catch it early

  1. A feeling of heaviness or pressure in your scrotum.
  2. Change in testicle size or firmness.Certain types of testicular tumors can reduce testosterone or increase estrogen in the body, which can result in a change in testicle size or firmness.
  3. Swollen legs.When a tumor spreads to the lymph node, it can constrict blood flow in the veins and result in a blood clot. The clots often occur in the legs, which causes them to swell. You might even experience blood clot symptoms such as pain and difficulty breathing.
  4. Lower back pain and shortness of breath.These are symptoms of advanced testicular cancer, meaning the cancer has spread to lymph nodes behind your stomach. Shortness of breath also may signal that the cancer has spread to your lungs, which may make it harder for air to move in and out.
  5. Breast growth or tenderness.In rare cases, hormone changes also can cause breast tenderness or growth of breast tissue. Some tumors can secrete high levels of a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG), which stimulates breast development.

If you experience any of these symptoms, make an appointment with your doctor right away, Dr. Gilligan says. If your physician diagnoses you with epididymitis or orchitis and the symptoms do not resolve quickly with antibiotics, request an ultrasound to evaluate for a testicular tumor.

“While up to 95 percent of men with testicular cancer are cured, it’s important to get care quickly if you’re experiencing symptoms because testicular cancers usually grow fast,” Dr. Gilligan says. “If there is disease, the earlier it is treated, the greater than chance for success.”


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