The government’s proposed redevelopment of Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) would call for the demolition of seven existing structures, with one of the phases costing nearly $150 million.
That figure is just a fraction of the price outlined in a Ministry of Health project summary prepared for the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).
The Ministry of Health report called for millions to be spent on facilities on Abaco and Grand Bahama and between a $300 million to $500 million investment in the redevelopment of PMH, citing the fact that it is “the central hub for public sector referrals from all islands inclusive of Abaco and Grand Bahama”.
The Public Hospitals Authority masterplan and facility operations assessment report, which was obtained by The Nassau Guardian, gave a detailed breakdown of those proposed plans for PMH, which officials say are desperately needed to improve the aging facility.
The plan indicated that a number of spaces in PMH are currently too small for them to function ideally.
For example, the recommended size for the postpartum room is 265 square feet, more than double its current size of 113 square feet. The private patient room, which is currently 120 square feet, is recommended to be increased in size to 265 square feet.
The report recommended 435 square feet for digital radiation, which currently has a space of only 204 square feet. The existing CT scan room is 267 square feet, compared to a recommended size of 400 square feet.
Phase one of the redevelopment of the hospital would encompass the demolition of seven existing structures on the site, including oncology, imaging, a warehouse and private doctors’ offices.
The plans indicate that in phase two of the project, those buildings will be replaced by a helipad, a women’s and children’s tower, accident and emergency, and imaging. This phase is projected to cost roughly $148 million, the report stated.
According to the document, phase three would include the demolition of existing clinics and storage.
This section would be replaced by phase four, which would include the construction of a medical/surgical patient tower, a medical school, food services and surgical services expansion.
Phase five would include the construction of a parking garage and clinical housing complex.
In a recent interview, Ministry of Disaster Preparedness, Management and Reconstruction Permanent Secretary Carl Smith said the figures given in the Ministry of Health summary were ball park figures, as he sought to downplay the half a billion dollar price tag.
“Those are estimated figures,” he said.
“Because, for example, in the health sector, where we talk about building a clinic, that is a guesstimated figure. We would then have to meet with prospective developers, persons who express interest. And then we would have to design perhaps and cost out what that facility will look like.”