PHA Officials Addressed COVID-19 Impact on Health Facilities


From: Bahamas Information Services

The Public Hospitals Authority (PHA) held a press conference to give critical status update on the impact of COVID-19 on its health care intuitions. The press conference was held virtually, September 10, 2021 at the PHA Training Centre in New Providence, with a Zoom link from the Rand Memorial Hospital Conference Room in Freeport, Grand Bahama.

PHA Chairman Julian J. Rolle in opening remarks stated that the country cannot sustain the continued rise of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations “for much longer,” adding that both resources and staff remain stretched beyond capacity.He noted that the virus has placed strain on public health care, leaving the system what he described as “overburdened” and under “unprecedented stress.” He added: “Our doctors and nurses are worn out with the unrelenting pressure being caused by COVID-19.”

The PHA Chairman further pointed out that about five to 10 percent of staff is quarantined due to exposure to the virus. And, that some staff members have had multiple quarantines, and the number of staff unable to perform their duties due to quarantine has now reached the point where it’s becoming difficult to properly staff facilities.

Due to the COVID-19 response, all available spaces are being used — extending into the food court of Princess Margaret Hospital, rendering acute care on the porch. At the Rand Memorial Hospital in Grand Bahama, PHA officials said similar challenges are being experienced at facilities there.

The press conference was also addressed by: administrators for the Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) and Rand Memorial Hospital (RMH), Ms. Mary Walker and Ms. Sharon Williams, respectively; Dr Crystal Wells, of PMH’s A&E Department; Dr Karen Rowe, an anesthesiologist at PMH; Dr Nikkiah Forbes, director of the National HIV/AIDS and Infectious Diseases Programme at the Ministry of Health; and Clinical Heads of Service and Consultants representing some of the most impacted areas of the public hospitals. Health officials also reminded the public to adhere to safety protocols in combating the COVID-19 virus: wear masks, wash and sanitize hands, practice social distancing of remaining six feet apart in public places, and be encouraged to get vaccinated.