PHA says it transferred boarders to other accommodations

The Public Hospitals Authority (PHA) said yesterday that it transferred boarders, who were living in Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH), to other accommodations.

On Sunday, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis said the PHA was seeking alternative accommodations for 33 boarders who were staying at PMH where they are occupying much-needed beds.

Minnis said the 33 boarders, patients who were discharged but remain at the hospital, cost the hospital $491 per day or $6 million per year. Some boarders have resided at PMH for years.

“…The PHA has improved its bed capacity at the Princess Margaret Hospital through the transfer of boarders to accommodations in line with their needs and has secured a private facility offsite for quarantining and treating suspected COVID-19 cases,” the PHA said in a statement yesterday.

“This approach effectively minimizes the potential for spread of the virus among non-COVID-19 patients and staff within the Princess Margaret Hospital. Outfitting of PPEs (personal protective equipment) for staff at the private facility has been supplied and will continue as guided by the increased stock ledger.

“Resources, inclusive of security, have also been beefed up at the private facility to treat patients under our care.”

The PHA said there has been an increase in cases of COVID-19 across healthcare facilities on New Providence and Grand Bahama.

“This occurrence is consistent with COVID-19 spread worldwide in hospitals, as there is a higher rate of infection among emergency room doctors and nurses given that they are the first point of contact for patients suspected of being COVID-19-positive,” it said.

“In The Bahamas, the assessment, testing and investigation protocols for staff implemented by the PHA is being guided by the approved policy of the World Health Organization, and in line with the national policy under the Ministry of Health.”

Health officials confirmed at least 30 healthcare workers tested positive for COVID-19 since July 8.

 The PHA said it is implementing a number of measures to protect staff and patients, including “increased and consistent” stock of personal protective equipment, more frequent sanitization of the hospital and the rerouting of general hospital traffic to maintain social distancing.

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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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