The Ministry of Health gained another shot in the arm in its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic with receipt of four ventilators to augment its acute care efforts. The ventilators were donated by two prominent families of Canada – the Munks and the Rogers – and were presented to the Minister of Health, the Hon. Renward Wells during an official ceremony at the Ministry of Health on Friday, November 27, 2020. Procurement of the medical machines was facilitated by local heart specialist, Dr. Conville Brown, Founder and Physician-In-Chief, as well as Chief Cardiologist at Bahamas Heart Centre and the Medical Pavilion Bahamas.
Minister Wells underscored the importance of such a donation and where the ventilators will be used. And, he thanked the Canadian families for their donation.
“On behalf of the Government and people of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, the Ministry of Health extends gratitude for these donations of ventilators from the Munks and Rogers families,” he said. “Their generosity aids in our country’s overall healthcare advancement and is especially beneficial during this pandemic where so many have needed the assistance of a ventilator to survive.”
The Minister also acknowledged the presence of Dr. Conville Brown, and thanked him for receiving the donation from the Munks and Rogers families. He noted that for nearly 50 years, The Bahamas has enjoyed an abiding partnership with Canada.
“It is my understanding that early on in the COVID-19 pandemic, when similar to the rest of the world, our necessary medical supplies were declining; two Canadian families decided to assist our healthcare system by procuring much sought-after ventilators,” the Minister said. Valued at just over $100,000, the families were able to secure four dual electronically and battery powered ventilators. Two of the ventilators are being donated to the Ministry of Health and the other two will be deployed to Grand Bahama to a private health facility.
Currently in the public healthcare system, there are just fewer than 90 ventilators available, with 15 at the Rand Memorial Hospital in Grand Bahama, and the remainder In New Providence. The Minster observed that for decades the ventilator has been a fundamental element for Intensive Care Units and Emergency medicine.
“As much as it is hoped that those accessing our healthcare system will never have to use a ventilator,the reality is that emergency situations constantly occur. Having the increased capacity to assist in saving more lives is invaluable,” he said. Dr. Brown said he was pleased to have been able to facilitate the donation of the ventilators, aimed at improving the overall health care of The Bahamas. Also present were: Mrs. Pernell King-Rolle, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health; Ms. Siobhan Deane, Undersecretary, Ministry of Health; Ms. Latasieh Carey, COO, The Medical Pavilion Bahamas and Domica Davis, Public Relations, The Medical Pavilion Bahamas.