The Hawksbill Clinic is scheduled to undergo a $189,000 renovation beginning within the next week, Public Hospitals Authority (PHA) representatives said Monday.
The remediation project will include repairs to the building’s windows, roofing, flooring, air conditioning and electrical systems.
PHA officials anticipate the project will be completed by mid-September.
More than 4,000 residents in Hawksbill, Hunters, Pinder’s Point, Lewis Yard and Mack Town are expected to benefit from the improvements to the clinic.
As the clinic will be closed during the construction period, residents in Hawksbill and those surrounding settlements seeking clinical services will be accommodated at the Eight Mile Rock Clinic.
PHA Managing Director Herbert Brown said that the PHA is in the process of arranging for a shuttle to transport patients between Hawksbill and Eight Mile Rock daily in the morning and afternoon.
On Monday morning, PHA officials joined with representatives of Grand Bahama Health Services (GBHS), the Ministry for Grand Bahama and Pinnacle Investment Construction Company Limited, who will execute the project, for an official contract signing ceremony.
“Six short weeks from now, we anticipate that those patients who utilize the Hawksbill Clinic will experience a greater sense of satisfaction with the environment and infrastructure of their primary health care facility,” Chairman of the PHA Board of Directors Frank Smith said.
The existing structure of the Hawksbill Clinic was constructed in 1967, and has incurred some damage over the years.
Smith said that the extent of the issues at the clinic, and others on the island, became apparent to the PHA after an evaluation of local medical facilities some years ago.
According to Smith, this comprehensive survey “revealed the need for immediate, mid-term, and long-term improvements to the island’s network of health care facilities, both with respect to infrastructure and access to services.”
Smith noted that the PHA strives to provide quality health care to all Bahamians through GBHS, which comprises the Rand Memorial Hospital (RMH) and 11 community health clinics across Grand Bahama and Grand Cay Abaco.
As such, he said, the PHA has collaborated with the Ministry for Grand Bahama to resolve a number of structural and service-related issues at these institutions.
This initiative began back in 2011 with updates to the RMH’s pharmacy, surgical and emergency wards.
Since that time, he added, the PHA and Bahamas Government have made additions to the island’s ambulance fleet and improvements to clinics in Sweetings Cay, McLean’s Town and High Rock.
Smith said he is pleased to be able to add the Hawksbill Clinic to that list come September.
“The PHA has undertaken this initiative with a high degree of planning and accountability, ensuring that the Bahamian people will receive value for every dollar spent,” he said.
“Ultimately, with these renovations the residents of Grand Bahama in the Hawksbill community, and in surrounding communities, will experience an improvement in the quality of the primary health care they receive at the Hawksbill Clinic.”
Smith said that such improvements are necessary as the community clinics are critical in promoting public health initiatives, and helping to prevent illness, disability and premature death.
Minister for Grand Bahama Michael Darville said the remediation project to take place at the Hawksbill Clinic is a step in the right direction.
He said that as the government prepares to launch its National Health Insurance program in January, the need for a standardization of health care infrastructure and services across the nation becomes more imperative.
Moving forward, he said, public clinics would play an integral role in ensuring the success of National Health Insurance as these institutions make primary health care available to residents across the island.
“Ideally, our network of clinics not only here in Grand Bahama, but across The Bahamas will help mitigate the increasing demand for hospital care by offering access to effective, quality primary care within the community,” Darville said.
Published Tuesday, July 29, 2014