Repairs to the Rand Memorial Hospital in Grand Bahama, which suffered severe damage during Hurricane Dorian, could cost nearly $20 million, Minister of Health Dr. Duane Sands said yesterday.
Asked about the cost, Sands said, “Preliminary estimates: as much as about $19 million.”
Sands added, “The current plan is that the Rand will be closed down for repairs. There has been tremendous structural damage to the Rand and that structural damage has rendered most of the facility unsafe for occupation.
“Today, Tuesday, a group of interested parties will be meeting with the managing director of the Public Hospitals Authority to express commitments for different projects within the Rand to bring it back to like new.
“We intend to do this in phases and to complete it by the end of 2019. That said, there is still an interest in a brand new facility to replace the Rand Memorial Hospital but that decision obviously requires the consent of the Cabinet of The Bahamas.”
Sands said the help of international organizations has been essential for the provision of healthcare services in the meantime.
“We have benefitted from the donation of the Samaritan’s Purse,” he said.
“They saw almost 125 patients yesterday. As a matter of fact they have, for all intents and purposes, taken over the acute care in Freeport. They have inpatients now. They’re performing surgery. They have in intensive care unit. There’s another field hospital in High Rock, and they have been providing services to the people in East Grand Bahama.
“We also have the support of a number of non-governmental organizations and emergency medical teams in Abaco.
“So, the hope is that the Bahamian health professionals have an opportunity to get their lives back together again as a number of these organizations have committed to be with us for as much as 120 days. So, if we can get the Rand functioning again, if we can get our clinics functioning again, let people recover some sense of normalcy to their life, then maybe we can resume ordinary services.”