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Donnerstag, 30.05.2024
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The nation's health care system will experience a breakthrough in the coming year with a new advancement in the medical field that could possibly save patients a lot of travel expenses and headaches, says Minister of Health and Social Development Dr. Hubert Minnis.

The minister's remarks came on Friday while on island for the Governor-General's annual visit to the Rand Memorial Hospital, where he announced the new initiative dubbed 'Telemedicine.'

"I think this is the greatest medical breakthrough or impact in our health care community," he said

Noting that the programme was first introduced between Nassau and Abaco on December 2, the minister said it was done in an attempt to decrease the amount of patients being transferred from the Family Islands to Nassau and thus reducing the demand and expenses on our air ambulance services.

A doctor by profession, the minister explained that Telemedicine will allow physicians and specialists in New Providence to examine a patient in Abaco, without the patient leaving that island.

"With this technology we are able to review patients in Abaco in Nassau from our examination and emergency room in Nassau," he said.

"In Nassau, we are able to assess and examine the patients in Abaco. Our specialist in Nassau would be able to make a determination after examining that patient in Abaco, whether or not the individual needs to be transferred to Nassau."

Excited about the limitless possibilities of the programme, the minister said that it should have a great impact on the number of patients being transferred to Nassau from the Family Islands.

He said it was a long time dream of the Governor General His Excellency Arthur D. Hanna to see that all patients be afforded the same health care privileges as available in New Providence.

"I would like to point out that this technology, once compatible with those in the states, whichever institution be it in the Americas or Canada, individuals at John Hopkins University or whichever institution that is compatible with our instrumentation would be able to examine our patients both in Nassau and Grand Bahama and give a second opinion without us having to travel off the island or out of the country," he said.

Telemedicne, Dr. Minnis explained will allow local physicians to attend conferences and be updated on the latest advancements in the field without having to travel to the United States.

Minister Minnis said he was pleased to report the ever-present progress being made in Grand Bahama through refurbishments being made to the island's Health Care facilities.

This, he said, is part of an ambitious plan by the government to sustain Grand Bahama until the new state-of-the-art Primary Health Care facility is constructed.

Among the works done, the minister listed the Hawksbill Clinic, which was renovated to allow for the relocation of the Physiotherapy Department, which will commence services in 2008.

"Early next year the GBHS intends to continue improving facilities," Dr. Minnis said. "Final plans are in place to expand the accident and emergency department. The existing operating theatre will be enhanced to accommodate two theatres, which will help to decrease the waiting lists for elective surgery, as well as provide space for ophthalmology, orthopaedic and Vascular Surgeries."

The minister added that the Paediatric Ward will be expanded to include space for children, adolescents and isolation services as well as a play area for the children. He said this will prove to be a vast improvement over the present facilities.

"I'm confident that the Grand Bahama Health Services will continue to play their role in the implementation of these national programmes. Together we will continue to offer accessible, quality health care locally and nationally, we will also achieve our health goals, nationally, regionally and globally," he said.


Autor(en)/Author(s): Angelo Armbrister

Quelle/Source: The Freeport News,

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