PHA Responds to Tribune Article
PHA Responds to Tribune Article
Ref. “Emergency crews fear being overlooked by new government”
The Public Hospitals Authority (PHA) refutes as erroneous assertions made in today’s publication of The Tribune under the headline Emergency crews fear being overlooked by new government. The comments attributed in the article to ‘anonymous EMS workers’ are irresponsible and designed to strike fear in the heart of the communities we serve.
All emergency service personnel serving in the PHA system are governed by protocols regarding the administration of medication to our patients. The Health Professions Council - which is the regulatory body for E.M.S, provides for the administration of medications for asthma and heart attacks under the scope of practice of the EMS persons licensed at the intermediate and advanced level. Teams responding to an emergency have access at all times to the Medical Director and doctors in the Accident and Emergency Room at the Princess Margaret Hospital to further liaise on cases that would require intervention prior to the patient’s arrival at hospital.
The Public Hospitals Authority under its EMS Training initiative offers training opportunities to Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT’s) which enhance their scope of practice and in essence elevates them to the status of Paramedic. In-service awards are granted by the Public Hospitals Authority to staff members interested in pursuing Paramedic training overseas. Additionally there are 15 persons who have been engaged as part of the government’s training and employment are on the government’s 52-work week program who are scheduled to complete EMT Training in approximately 2 months. These new additions will allow for increasing our response time as more trained personnel will become available to serve those in need of pre-hospital care.
In February of this year the Public Hospitals Authority ordered 5 new Type 1 ambulances at a cost of $615,155.00 (excluding duty) expected to arrive in the Bahamas shortly. These new ambulances are a first for the Public Health Care System. They boast the following features:
- A special patient compartment, more durable and conducive for the patient.
- Excellent maneuverability, especially for busy streets and congested areas. (Similar models are used on the streets of New York and other major cities).
- A moveable patient’s compartment that can be lowered to stretcher height, reducing the strain to the patient and responder and thereby creating a shorter response time.
- An expanded interior which allows for chair storage and other equipment.
- Replaceable compartments and chassis, which allows for easily accessible repairs, service and/or replacement.
The purchase of these vehicles are also in tandem with a broader plan to create an efficient network of services to address the wear-and-tear on our vehicles brought on by a significant increase in emergency cases.
This increased fleet of ambulances, boosting of EMT and Paramedics staff numbers and construction of sub-stations at strategic locations, mark a significant aspect of the decentralization of EMS services. Our plan is already in a testing phase with a team and ambulance intermittingly staged at the Lynden Pindling International Airport (LPIA).
Judy Terrell-Hamilton, MA
Corporate Communications Manager
Public Hospitals Authority
Corporate Office Bldg. B
Third & West Terraces Centerville
P.O. Box N-8200
Nassau, The Bahamas
Tele: 1(242)502.3262 Mobile: 1(242)376.3760