HISTORIC DEPLOYMENT OF PHA Doctors to Family Islands
In what was described as an historic occasion Minister of Health, Dr. the Hon. Perry Gomez, officially announced the deployment of five (5) Family Medicine Specialists to key Family Islands at a press conference held this morning at the Ministry of Health. The deployment of the physicians to their respective islands took effect on September 1st, 2015 and marks the first time in Bahamian history that a doctor has been posted to every Family Island in the country.
The Health Minister noted that, “One of the greatest challenges which the Government has faced and continues to face in providing healthcare, is the archipelagic nature of our Commonwealth.” He continued, “In order to ensure access to quality primary healthcare it is necessary to staff public health clinics with sufficient doctors, nurses, and allied health personnel.”
Minister Gomez stressed that his ministry has made the staffing of Family Island Clinics a priority, noting that the quality of healthcare services delivered to a community can be limited when there is a shortage of capable, qualified, medical doctors.” The deployment is as follows:
(i) Dr. Allen Cho has been deployed to the Berry Islands
(ii) Dr. Nicole Adderley has been deployed to Exuma
(iii) Dr. Phyllis Darville has been deployed to San Salvador
(iv) Dr. Keysha Smith has been deployed Bimini
(v) And Dr. Keith Rivers was deployed to Marsh Harbour, Abaco in February.
Public healthcare in the Bahamas is provided through a national network of more than ninety (90) clinics and at three tertiary institutions of the Public Hospitals Authority, the Princess Margaret Hospital and Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre in New Providence and the Rand Memorial Hospital in Grand Bahama.
The Minister also emphasized the expansion of the Family Medicine Program into community clinics with the deployment of Family Medicine Doctors. Gomez said, “all of this comprises my government’s commitment to ensuring that residents of Family Island communities have full and equitable access to primary healthcare, comparable to that enjoyed by residents of New Providence. This remains a high priority for the Ministry of Health going forward as it is a hallmark of the National Health Insurance programme’s implementation.”
The Ministry of Health and Public Hospitals Authority have engaged in improving healthcare systems, healthcare infrastructure and public health services as an essential first step in the phased implementation of National Health Insurance; with registration expect to commence in early 2016.
Public Hospitals Authority