Renovations and upgrades of clinics in New Providence and the Family Islands combined with programm strengthening initiatives will provide improved healthcare delivery, efficiency and effectiveness. Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis informed Parliament that
funding allocations are proposed in the 2020/2021 budget for the
renovation and upgrade of a significant number of community clinics in the capital and throughout the archipelago of The Bahamas.
“My Government continues to place high priority on ensuring the
accessibility of high quality primary health care services throughout the
communities of New Providence and the Family Islands,” said the Prime
Minister. He noted some of the benefits of “strong” primary health
programs and services: lower health costs, higher user satisfaction and
better health outcomes for the population. He said the overall goal is to improve the emergency and urgent healthcare services delivered in New Providence at the hospital and community levels. In New Providence, the proposed renovations and upgrades are expected
to be carried out on Anne’s Town, Coconut Grove and Elizabeth Estates
clinics along with South Beach Health Centre.
Anne’s Town Clinic serves the Kemp Road and surrounding inner city
communities. Constructed in 1978, after 41 years, the number and size of examination rooms are no longer adequate to accommodate its expanded scope of services and increased patient load. This clinic is long overdue for comprehensive upgrades. Coconut Grove Clinic was actively under renovation until Hurricane Matthew of 2016 caused significant damage to the building and its uncompleted structural works. Elizabeth Estates Clinic and the South Beach Health Centre are the two primary healthcare facilities in Nassau currently being upgraded to strengthen their capacity for the delivery of urgent care services at the community level. In addition to infrastructural works, these upgrades include the following priorities:
Deploying mobile point-of-care testing equipment in both of these
Expanding other diagnostic capabilities inclusive of digital x-rays,
ultra sound and EKG equipment;
Standardizing policies, operating procedures and clinical protocols;
Training in a wide variety of clinical and non-clinical areas including
life support and customer service.
The Prime Minister said many of the developments are underway at
Elizabeth Estates Clinic and South Beach Health Centre, and are critical for preparing the two facilities to diagnose and manage lower severity cases requiring urgent and emergency care. “This will lead to a reduction in the number of patients needing to go to the Emergency Department at PMH,” he added.
“It is estimated that as many as 40 percent of the patients visiting the
Emergency Department can be treated at the community clinics if these clinics were appropriately upgraded and resourced, as is now being proposed under this project.” Moreover, the Prime Minister told parliamentarians that during his last tenure as Minister of Health, a Capital Development Action Plan was produced to effect repairs to clinics on each island. In this regard, he announced that repairs will be carried out in Eleuthera at the Spanish Wells, Harbour Island, Lower Bogue and Governor’s Harbour clinics. In Andros, repairs will be completed in the new fiscal year to Mangrove Cay and Nicholl’s Town Community Clinics.