Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Minister lauds improved health care in Grand Bahama

Written by BIS
FREEPORT, The Bahamas -- Minister of Health the Hon. Dr. Hubert A. Minnis on Friday, Dec. 10 applauded the work of the Grand Bahama Health Services team noting the aggressive work for the development of an holistic and comprehensive approach to health, encouraged by the World Health Organisation. Dr. Minnis was in Grand Bahama attending the annual visit of the Governor General to the Rand Memorial Hospital.

While this was the first official visit to the Rand by Sir Arthur Foulkes and Lady Foulkes since becoming Governor General earlier this year, it marked the 12th Annual Visit by the Governors General to the Rand facility. Hospital staff and invited guests assembled under three large white tents, colourfully decorated with Christmas ornaments and palm tress for the annual event.

While applauding the staff, Dr. Minnis made mention of a number of accomplishments while pointing out that the most prevalent illnesses in the community is as a result of lifestyle choices and sedentary habits.He told the gathering that he was happy to note that they have expanded on the foundation laid by the One Hundred Day Health Challenge introduced in 2006.

“I am advised that you have this year reached a significant portion of the work force and other organisations in Grand Bahama, industrial companies, the Grand Bahama Port Authority, banks, schools teachers, PTAs and civic organisations.

“I am also advised that you have extended your Healthy Lifestyle and Wellness Programmes to the schools, with pilot programmes in four schools in the east end of the island.

“I encourage you to continue those efforts at assessment and intervention, as a healthy Bahamas means taking the entire country bit by bit, community by community, towards an improved state of health,” he stated.

The Health Minister further revealed that statistical data for 2009/2010 show a significant increase in patients being seen at the facilities of the Grand Bahama Health Services.

He noted that admissions for 2009 to the Rand were 5,844 while discharges were 5,796. There were 844 deliveries and 1,397 surgeries.

Further statistics revealed that 76,956 visits were noted at the various Community Health Clinics, while the Accident and Emergency Department at the Rand recorded 55,032 visits, and the Out Patients Specialty Clinics Department treated 21,226 persons.

Statistics provided by the Minister show that the Pharmacy Department at the Rand Hospital was kept quite busy reporting some 186,000 prescriptions filled.

“These figures represent an impressive level of service delivered by the dedicated staff of the Grand Bahama Health Services; and while there were some complaints voiced publicly, the successes are not often lauded.

“With 5,796 discharges and an Infant Death Rate of 0.2% and no Maternal Deaths, the staff must be commended for remarkable health outcomes,” the Minister said.He also pointed out that in 2009/10 there were 215 patients admitted for Hypertension, 5% fewer than in 2008. Also, 121 patients were admitted with Diabetes, a 12% decrease from the numbers in 2008.

“These changes are possible because of the newly introduced Discharged Planning Team. This team aggressively monitors the needs of clients upon discharge and so there are fewer readmissions.

“Clients are educated in effective management of present ailment; informed about procedures for sourcing adequate supply of medications before leaving the hospital, are provided referrals to specialty clinics or Community Health Services as needed, and are introduced to other healthy lifestyle opportunity,” he pointed out.

Dr. Minnis further noted that clients are also contacted by the Discharge Planning Team Post Discharge, to promote compliance with recommendations for care and lifestyle changes.

He said the new programme speaks well for continued health gains in our population and that these statistics show that Grand Bahama is the most healthy major island in The Bahamas.

The Health Minister said the tireless efforts to educate and inform the public by the Disease Surveillance Unit through its partnership with the Grand Bahama AIDS Awareness Committee are bearing fruit, as can be seen in the decrease in patients being admitted to the Rand Hospital with HIV and AIDS related illnesses.Continuing, he pointed out that over the past two years, they have focused on the improvement of pharmacy services with institutions across the nation, and that Grand Bahama has been a leading agency engaging fully in the mandate for improvements in technology, staffing and renovations and expansion in the hospital, community and out-patient pharmacy service.

He said the National Prescription Drug Plan introduced a few months ago has been implemented throughout facilities of the Grand Bahama Health Services and will undoubtedly serve as a means of further enhancing effective management of population health by guaranteeing accessibility to critical drugs required for clients with chronic non-communicable diseases.

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