Violence and injury running up the cost of healthcare

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Minister of Health, Dr. the Hon. Duane Sands brings remarks at the Medical Association of The Bahamas’ 46th Annual Scientific Conference held at Melia Nassau Beach Resort, Wednesday, March 7, 2018. (BIS Photo/Kristaan Ingraham)

Minister of Health, Dr. the Hon. Duane Sands said there is a growing concern of violence and injury running up the cost of healthcare and crippling the country’s social systems. “We must get a handle on the root causes of this with research guiding our understanding of this growing epidemic,” Dr. Sands said at the Medical Association of The Bahamas’ 46thAnnual Scientific Conference held at Melia Nassau Beach Resort, March 7, 2018. He said, however, that the conference aims to celebrate the country’s achievements in healthcare and the vision of a better healthcare system in The Bahamas for all that is efficient, cost-effective and that provides value for money along with being accountable and equitable. “We have achieved significant legislation over the past two years governing stem cell research and registration and licensing of physicians. “This deserves recognition as we are leading the way in our Region. The future looks bright. We stand on the shoulders that come before us.”

Dr. Sands explained that at this time in the nation’s health history, there is a very large number of physicians who have successfully completed their education, and credit should be given to the government of The Bahamas and the staff of the University of the West Indies. “I have been advised that there will be 75 medical students graduating and who will be applying for internships in The Bahamas.  There is also a very large number of physician staff not enrolled in post-graduate programmes, yet we have a shortfall of physicians serving in our community clinics and the Family Islands.” He said the Ministry is developing programmes to address the improved distribution of trained physicians to provide service out of hospitals and in the community clinics and Family Islands. This will involve all categories of staff.  Senior doctors need to train younger doctors. The Health Minister said, “At this time we will have 40 spots for interns and we will ensure that every department in the hospital has its complement of physicians; as well as we will have adequate staff for the community clinics and the Family Islands.” He said, “We will closely monitor our health outcomes as we embark on this new approach. We will support advances in new technologies, and it would be important for us to maintain these technologies to ensure return on investment.”

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