The Bahamas continues to be inundated with COVID-19 infections. As of September 2, there were 2,337 confirmed cases on the COVID-19 Bahamas Dashboard, with 47 deaths and seven non-COVID deaths. With 14 deaths under investigation, the death toll could rise to 61.
The Bahamas has only recorded 849 recoveries. These numbers suggest that the country’s healthcare system is at its breaking point. At nearly 400,000 strong, the Bahamian population has outgrown its healthcare system. What we have today would’ve been adequate for The Bahamas in the 1970s. The problem is, we are now in 2020.
When it was announced by The Nassau Guardian and The Tribune on August 20 that Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Leader Philip Brave Davis would be airlifted to the United States to receive treatment for his COVID-19 infection, some Bahamians expressed their strong disapproval of the move.
Apparently, they chose to interpret Davis’ decision as a lack of faith and confidence in Bahamian healthcare professionals and the entire healthcare system.
According to both aforementioned newspapers, Davis was cared for at Doctors Hospital – a private institution.
Davis was gracious in commending the nurses and doctors at that institution for their services.
Obviously as a man of means, Davis made the calculated and smart decision to seek medical attention abroad.
The hypothetical question for Davis’ detractors is this: if you had a brain hemorrhage, and you had extensive financial resources, would you go to Princess Margaret Hospital or Cleveland Clinic in the United States?
I would pick the latter without hesitation. I believe Davis’ detractors would do the same thing.
Doctors and nurses at Princess Margaret Hospital and Rand Memorial Hospital are dedicated professionals tasked with making blood out of stone.
They are overworked, underpaid, under-equipped – and at times, under-appreciated.
Choosing to go abroad for medical care isn’t a searing indictment of these hardworking Bahamians and non-Bahamians.
Knowing the age-old perennial problems plaguing the Public Hospitals Authority, I wouldn’t blame anyone for opting to seek medical attention abroad. At the end of the day, it’s their life.
Davis was well within his rights to seek medical attention abroad. If he wanted to travel to Europe or Asia for medical help, it’s his business.
I don’t think we should politicize this man’s health.
— Kevin Evans