Public Hospitals Authority & Doctors Hospital in transfer of patients Agreement

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The Public Hospitals Authority and Doctors Hospital Health System have entered into an agreement to allow for the transfer of patients from Princess Margaret Hospital to Doctors Hospital West, effective Monday, December 5, 2022.  The Minister of Health and Wellness the Hon. Dr. Michael Darville made the announcement during a press conference held in PMH conference room on Sunday, December 4.

“This transfer will allow the PHA to undertake significant repairs to the hospital’s aging infrastructure with minimal impact to patients,” he said.

The patients will be transferred to Doctors Hospital facility Blake Road for the continuation of their care. The arrangement calls for the use of 51 beds for about 14 weeks and is costing the Government an estimated $2.5 million.

Dr. Darville thanked Doctors Hospital for their longstanding partnership with the public health sector and the PHA, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic with the use of its Blake Road facility.

“Today, that spirit of partnership is renewed. With respect to the care of patients transferred to Doctors Hospital West, I commend the PHA and Doctors for coming to an agreement of discounted rates to minimize the financial impact of this necessary exercise,” he said.

“Further, I commend the collaborative efforts of clinicians, health executives, legal advisors, EMS leadership and financial officers to ensure the success of this initiative.”

Under the agreement, the PHA will be in a position to address critical, existing infrastructure challenges including the replacement of elevators, repair of the HVAC system, and remediation work of the mechanical, electrical and plumbing required for the installation of the modular infectious unit that have been delayed because of the potentially negative impact on available hospital beds.

Dr. Aubynette Rolle, Managing Director of the PHA, under which the Princess Margaret Hospital falls, further explained the scope of the arrangement with Doctors Hospital.

“Medical chiefs of staff, International Medicine Department and the Emergency Department created the criteria of medical patients who will be transferred, with stringent screening and admission of non-critical patients, and an average length of stay between 5-7 days depending on acuity level and bed availability for transfer at PMH,” she said.

Additionally, a monitoring and evaluation of the referral process will be carried out to ensure that only public patients are transferred; also strengthened case management to ensure smooth transition of patients.

Upon discharge, all patient documentation will be transferred back to PMH for care continuity: case managers are available to overcome any challenges if the need arises. 

Also present during the press conference were: Dr. Caroline Burnett-Garraway Medical Chief of Staff, PMH; Dr. Sheena Antonio-Collie, Chief Medical Officer, Doctors Hospital Health System, and other officials.  

By LINDSAY THOMPSON/Bahamas Information Services