Friday, August 20, 2010

Rand broke ground for new $6 million surgery suites

By CLEOPATRA MURPHY

Freeport News Reporter

Freeport, Grnd Bhama- The 10-month-long renovation and expansion project of the operation theatre at the Rand Memorial Hospital began yesterday with a groundbreaking ceremony with Health Minister, Hubert Minnis in attendance.

The expansion project that is contracted to Albacore Construction Company will add two new operating suites to the facility and include an endoscopic room.

It is part of a $6 million renovation project that is currently going on at the Rand Memorial Hospital.

Minnis said that the new upgrades at the Rand will expedite the surgery process.

The addition of the endoscopic room will also make it possible to conduct more outpatient surgeries.

"Less patients will be referred to New Providence away from their family, thus saving time, money and energy and keeping the family together," Minnis said.

Elaborating about the new and improved facilities Minnis added that the new theatre would include an in-built camera system to allow medical students and junior doctors undergoing training to observe surgical procedures from conference rooms.

Whether students are in Grand Bahama or New Providence they will be able to observe the surgeries, Minnis said.

"If you're doing an advanced surgical procedure that's unique and that's being done here for the first time then the students in Nassau will be able to observe that surgical procedure while sitting in Nassau," he said.

He added that the new technology is a welcome change because medical students will no longer have to crowd around a patient in the operating room while attempting to look in on a surgery.

Reflecting on his time as a surgeon, he added that he had attempted to introduce something similar when he was still practicing surgery.

Minnis noted that he forgot he had a microphone attached to his coat and when he ran into difficulty during the surgery he got loose with his words.

"As I started to experience the stress and ran into difficulty, words started to fly left, right and centre and as I remembered I had the mic, I had to tear the mic off," he said.

Minnis added that he looks forward to returning next June for the official opening of the operating suites and advised the contractors to be just as diligent in their work on the government run facility as they were on private projects.

"I don't want you to feel that this is government so bam, slam, thank you ma'am, good day. Give us an excellent job too," he advised.

Hospital Administrator Sharon Williams noted that the responsibility of the Public Hospital Authority and Grand Bahama Health Services extends beyond merely training and staffing.

"It speaks to the timely planning and investment of scarce resources by our government and our Minister of Health to facilitate state of the art facilities that take into consideration present and future technology and the advancements in medical practices," she said.

She added, "Today we will till the soil and plant the seed of hope with great anticipation that 10 months from now our Minister of Health will again grace us with his presence to open the door to our new facility."

Communications Officer at the Public Hospitals Authority Valeria Burrows explained that the Rand has been in desperate need of the additional surgical suites.

"We'll have additional space to accommodate those one day patients rather than having to absorb all of that space on the surgical ward," Burrows said.

She said the organization is excited about the coming changes and it will mean better accommodations for patients in the northern region and improved operating facilities for theatre staff.

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