The Public Hospitals Authority (PHA) has signed a $3.6 million contract with Inline Project Company for the next phase of construction and renovation works to the Urgent & Emergency Care Project for New Providence. The signing was held at the Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) Boardroom on Wednesday, November 20, 2019. Minister of Health, Dr. the Hon. Duane E. Sands said that this effort is focused on a series of phased enhancements in infrastructure systems, services, training and equipment at the PMH’s Emergency Department, the Elizabeth Estates Clinic and the South Beach Health Centre. The timeline for the project is 40 weeks.
“While we have invited you today to make public the signing of this important contract, improvement works related to the Urgent & Emergency Care Project have already commenced,” said Dr. Sands. “Decanted spaces have already been transformed and repurposed to support the improved functions of an upgraded and expanded emergency department.” He said that this contract would be covering the redevelopment of the Emergency Department Phase A-1/A-2, namely the Orthopedic & Wound Care areas. The scope of works to be carried out will entail interior and exterior builders work, building code required upgrades inclusive of fire suppression, C.C.T.V., Access control and low voltage infrastructure; civil works inclusive of site excavation and construction of sidewalks, driveways and primary storm and sewerage infrastructure, site lighting; a new ambulance bay and EMS area and a new entry lobby and canopy.
Chairman of the PHA Board of Directors, Mr. Julian Rolle, CPA, said that this move is all a part of the Authority’s objective of reducing the number of non-urgent visits to the hospital’s Accident & Emergency department. “The Accident & Emergency Department reports an average of 55,000 visits per year, and the demands are only increasing,” said Mr. Rolle. “Operational studies suggest that as many as 41 per cent of cases were as a result of patients seeking care for non-urgent disorders (or ESI level fours and fives).” He said that translated in layman’s terms, many of the cases seen in the Emergency Room are not medical emergencies, and these patients could have been seen by a Physician in an Urgent Care facility.
“We know that lessening the patient load at the Emergency Room by improving access to urgent care services in communities where patients live and work, not only improves service delivery to patients in those community-based centers of care, it improves service delivery in the hospital’s emergency room. Mr. Rolle noted that with the successful completion of the improvement works of the PMH and the clinics, residents of New Providence will experience an improvement in their access to quality emergency healthcare services at the hospital and across the island.