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The modular units Managing Director of the Public Hospitals Authority (PHA) Dr. Aubynette Rolle promised for the Rand Memorial Hospital (RMH) are expected to arrive on island today.

Minister of Health and Wellness Dr. Michael Darville made the announcement last week during Governor General Sir Cornelius A. Smith’s annual visit to the healthcare facility.

“I am delighted to advise the residents of Grand Bahama that two large hurricane-rated modular units will be erected on the grounds here at the Rand Memorial Hospital in short order,” Darville said.

“We have heard the cries of the residents and as we look at the entrance of Accident and Emergency, it has been a difficult time in providing the essential services that have been disrupted as a result of our COVID protocols.

“We moved swiftly and purchased the hurricane-resistant units to bring relief to those who are in desperate need of emergency care and to be able to provide a better quality service for residents who deserve better.”

He added that the property at the entrance of the hospital from The Mall Drive is being prepared for the installation.

Many key services at the Rand were disrupted by major flood damage and, within a year, departments including Accident and Emergency were modified to accommodate the growing number of COVID patients.

While a few services have returned to the premises following renovations, the administration and physiotherapy departments, and the Freeport Community Clinic, remain outsourced.

“The modular units will also facilitate and support rehabilitative services that are presently being done at the Sir Charles Hayward Library,” the minister said.

“Further, there will be 18 additional beds for the emergency room in order to rectify the backlog that currently exists in that department.”

Darville noted that the arrival of the modular units will mean that the urgent care waiting area will return to its normal function, ensuring that patients and their families get the quality of service they deserve.

Additionally, he said renovations to the morgue will begin soon.

“This essential upgrade will allow for us to be more efficient in providing much-needed services, to conduct the necessary autopsies while improving the working environment for our staff and, more particularly, for the residents who have to come to our institution to identify the remains of their loved ones,” Darville said.

He added that construction is also being carried out to expand the corridor for doctors on call and switchboard operators to have access to needed accommodation.

“These projects are on schedule and work is expected to be completed in early 2023,” the minister said.

Regarding the promised state-of-the-art hospital for the island, Darville said plans are in the advanced stage.

While not disclosing the proposed site for the facility, he said the government is fully committed to starting construction on the project early next year.

“The hospital is a build-design concept and will be constructed in two phases,” Darville said.

“The Beck Group completed the first phase of the design and we are now in the final stages for the completion of a proposal, so that we can go out to the tender process.

“I would like to thank the GBPA Building and Development Department for the ongoing support and my team on the ground at RMH for their hard work to get us to where we are today.”

The minister said the project will create a much-needed economic boost for the island, create hundreds of construction jobs as well as good paying jobs for the healthcare sector once the hospital is completed.