There were no ISO chambers in the country to safely transport a COVID-19 patient from Bimini earlier this week, Air Ambulance Services CEO Dr. Frank Walkine said.
The patient, Kim Johnson-Rolle, died shortly after arriving on New Providence after waiting 24 hours to be airlifted. When she finally was taken off Bimini, it was via a defense force aircraft.
Walkine said the issue has been addressed and they have two airplanes with the necessary ISO chambers.
“Going forward, we will have the necessary equipment to transfer patients,” he said.
Many Family Islanders have raised concern over the ability of the government to efficiently transfer COVID-19 patients to emergency services in Nassau.
Johnson-Rolle was the first confirmed case of a person dying from COVID-19 in The Bahamas.
Minister of Health Dr. Duane Sands also said what went wrong on Bimini should no longer be an issue.
“We have contracts, and we spend a tremendous amount of money on air evacuation annually,” he said.
“We spend some $1.6 million to $1.7 million annually on air evacuation from a number of carriers, but one main carrier had kind of an exclusive contract.
“So, the issue of evacuation from the Family Islands, which did not happen, was we are advised due to a problem that will be corrected in very short order.”