Prime Minister Opens the 47th Annual Scientific Conference

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Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis delivered welcome remarks at the 47h Annual Scientific Conference Medical Association of the Bahamas & Bahamas Dental Association, Wednesday, March 13. The two-day event is being held at the Baha Mar Convention Centre. “It is always good to be with former colleagues, especially at events such as this. “During the conference there will be a rich and dynamic exchange of ideas and information which may help to improve health care practices, save lives, and enhance the quality of health for Bahamians and residents,” said the Prime Minister. He said as a member of the profession and as a member of the Medical Association, he fondly remembered these types of conferences and the role they played in informing him and other health care professionals of developments in medicine.

“I am advised that with both dental and medical tracts you will have over 45 lectures over the next two days.  You will hear from over 30 local speakers and over 20 international speakers from individuals …expert in their fields,” said Dr. Minnis.  “As health care practitioners it is vital that you remain current in medical advances, including in technology, pharmaceuticals, surgical breakthroughs, health care delivery and other areas.” He said the enhanced utilization of communications and information technology and information sharing are vital in improving the quality of health care and well-being of Bahamians and residents.  “For example, we are on the cusp of a revolution where tele-health technologies are poised to enhance the delivery of primary care services, national emergency medical services and radiology services to Bahamians and residents throughout our archipelago,” he said.

He noted that as on previous occasions, in terms of public health, the Government would continue to focus extensively on the prevention and treatment of chronic non-communicable diseases (NCD) like diabetes and hypertension. “We must do more to combat these diseases, which rob us of general health and too many lives,” he said. “Along with climate change, the explosive incidence of NCD’s represent two of the greatest threats to national development.” He noted that as a matter of urgency, healthcare professionals must more aggressively address sugary drinks and the role they play in obesity, especially childhood and adolescent obesity. “Let me also reiterate that an important component in how we deliver health care is our progress in implementing a National Electronic Medical Records System.

“This revolutionary platform will digitally link public clinics and hospitals so that it will not matter where a patient is seen, the patient’s information and medical record can be instantly accessed,” said the Prime Minister. He said this represents an opportunity to harness the digital age technology for the benefit of Bahamians and residents.  He said that the technology would enhance the delivery of care in hospitals and clinics, improving transitional care between facilities and services, while expanding avenues for medical research.

The aim and objectives of the [Medical] Association are: 

–          To encourage and support a high standard of medical practice, ethics and conduct;  

–          To improve the professional competence of its members; to foster better relationships among its members;

–          And to protect all their interests, and to exert influence on behalf of and for the benefit of the people of The Bahamas in all matters related to health

The Prime Minister commended the Associations for these objectives and wished them fruitful sessions and discussions over the next two days.

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