Damage to healthcare system in the millions of dollars

The damage to the healthcare system as a result of Hurricane Dorian could be in the hundreds of millions of dollars, Minister of Health Dr. Duane Sands said yesterday.

“Certainly we have had total losses in East Grand Bahama,” he said at a press conference at the Ministry of Health.

“The Rand [Memorial Hospital] has suffered significant damage. We lost a number of ambulances and transport vehicles. We’ve had tremendous loss of operating room equipment, intensive care unit equipment.

“Now, to put a dollar amount on that rapidly, we are going to take an educated stab at putting a dollar amount on it, which we realize will be modified as we get the full assessments in, just to give the Cabinet a working range. Understand that health, works, education, all of the various government agencies and ministries, are doing the exact same thing, but this is an imprecise science at this point, given the fact that formal assessments just couldn’t be done this quickly.

“So, we expect that we’re in the tune of many millions of dollars, many tens of millions of dollars, just in health, and possible hundreds of millions.”

Hurricane Dorian slammed into Abaco and Grand Bahama two weeks ago, leaving thousands homeless and at least 51 dead.

There has been an outpouring of international aid in the aftermath of the storm.

Sands said offers of assistance from international partners in the wake of Dorian could lead to an improved public healthcare system.

“We have benefitted from tremendous offers of assistance, and if those offers come to fruition, it is possible that the healthcare system could emerge better after Dorian’s recovery than before, but we just have to see exactly what comes to fruition,” he said.

“We have had some very, very generous offers made by international partners, none of which I wish to single out at this point.”

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Rachel Knowles

Rachel joined The Nassau Guardian in January 2019. Rachel covers national issues. Education: University of Virginia in Charlottesville, BA in Foreign Affairs and Spanish

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