The remediation of Rand Memorial Hospital on Grand Bahama will likely exceed the initial budget, Minister of Health Dr. Duane Sands said yesterday.
Sands said workers have uncovered other structural issues that are not storm related, which are slowing the process as well as increasing costs.
“Unfortunately as you go into an old building, you find some stuff that you didn’t expect to find,” he said.
“So what we’re finding is not only was there storm damage, but you’ve got termites. And you’ve got rotted wood and so on. So, what we anticipated to be the solution for the Rand, we’re finding that there [are] more challenges underneath.
“And so, that has slowed the progress. We will be having a discussion about how we improve this, expedite it even today. But we intend to move on the same timetable as we had to get into the refurbished Rand as quickly as possible.”
He added, “It probably won’t be within the same budget. Again, because with the renovation, you find stuff that you didn’t expect to find.
“…Now you’ve got to deal with it. So, this is going to be a moving target.”
Sands said previously it would cost roughly $20 million to repair the Rand, but international partners will fund the majority of that cost.
He said the government was anticipated to spend less than $10 million on the repairs. However, it is now unclear what the final cost will be.
Sands said there have also been issues with the field hospital operated by Samaritan’s Purse due to cooler weather.
“The Samaritan’s Purse tent is a tent, and Grand Bahama is not exactly warm at this time of year,” he said.
“And so, one of the challenges we’re having is that the insulation for the tent, which wasn’t a problem when it was hot, is a problem now and people are finding it quite chilly.”
Samaritan’s Purse has been operating the hospital since Hurricane Dorian, and is expected to continue until March 2020.