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Teams from the Public Hospitals Authority representing National Emergency Health Services, as well as the Radiology and Occupational Therapy departments, created interactive booths that proved popular with students and parents at Nassau Christian Academy's Careers Fair on Friday, March 23. Hundreds of students, parents, academy faculty members and visitors toured the ballroom at the British Colonial Hilton where various careers were highlighted.
Emergency medical services (EMS) technician Cedric Cash spearheaded the National Emergency Health Services' effort, exposing students and their parents to the careers offered that area and some of the equipment and skills used to save lives during a medical emergency. Students were invited to help insert 'heplock intravenous lines', or bandage open wounds on an artificial arm under the supervision of EMS personnel.
Occupational Therapist Latonya Knowles led a team from the occupational therapy department at Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre in a dynamic and highly interactive display. Students were exposed to some of the tools and techniques used in rehabilitative therapy and enjoyed the opportunity to attempt some of the skills being demonstrated.
The Public Hospitals Authority's participation in the careers fair is one facet of an ongoing initiative to attract Bahamian students into allied health careers. The public healthcare system faces an increasing demand for qualified and talented professionals in fields such as rehabilitative services, diagnostic imaging, laboratory services, nutrition, pharmacy and oral health. Other important initiatives include the Ministry of Health's Allied Health Cadet program and Nursing Cadet program, and the National Careers Month held every October which targets students at all grade levels.
FREEPORT, Grand Bahama -- Officials of the Public Hospitals Authority (PHA) say the acquisition of the Island Palm Hotel on Grand Bahama on Tuesday is expected to "significantly impact" the delivery of quality healthcare in Grand Bahama in the northern Bahamas. The Island Palm Hotel was acquired at a cost of $1.9 million and is expected to pay "almost immediate" dividends in the delivery and expansion of healthcare in the northern region.
The acquisition is part of the Government of The Bahamas' phased approach to improving the delivery and accessibility of healthcare to residents of the northern Bahamas and follows on the heels of the construction and upgrade of the Critical Care Facility and Operating Theatres at the Rand Memorial Hospital.
It will also allow PHA and Rand Memorial officials to expand a number of critical areas such as Laboratory services and facilitate the use of Tele-Radiology as part of the Tele-medicine thrust in the future. The acquisition will also allow PHA officials to increase bed capacity at the Rand Memorial Hospital. The Island Palm Hotel sits adjacent to the Rand Memorial and plans are already underway to transfer the Rand Memorial's cafeteria services to the former hotel.
PHA Managing Director, Mr. Herbert Brown, said the transfer of cafeteria services from the Rand Memorial Hospital to the Island Palm Hotel, will allow Rand Memorial officials to use the area currently set aside for cafeteria services to facilitate additional treatment and bed capacity. "If you look at the way the hospital (Rand Memorial) is laid out, you would see that it is not conducive to being able to provide efficient healthcare to people because the kitchen and the cafeteria are in the middle of the hospital," Mr. Brown said. "This acquisition will now allow us to move that area and place it in a strategic way where it should be going. The plan then is to develop-re-develop the hospital in Grand Bahama on site, but in a phased and very strategic approach," Mr. Brown added.
By KHRISNA VIRGIL
PRINCESS Margaret Hospital officials are appealing to corporate Bahamas and the public to make donations to a new digital mammography machine that will replace the near obsolete equipment they are using.
So far, the hospital along with other organisations have raised more than $100,000 toward the new equipment that will include a new monitor, software and storage space for digital images.
More than 12 years old, the current mammography machine is not only less cost efficient, but has also at times, created a backlog of patients.
According to Dr Solange Payne, director of radiology, the hospital has seen six weeks upward to four months of back l ...
MARSH HARBOUR, Abaco --- Officials of the National Insurance Board and Coastline Construction Tuesday signed a contract for $12 million for the construction of a new community hospital in Marsh Harbour.
Scheduled to be completed within 60 weeks, the signing and groundbreaking ceremony for the facility came almost 25 years after NIB completed its first Community Clinic at Marsh Harbour in 1988. At that time, NIB embarked upon a mission to assist with the development and extension of healthcare infrastructure in The Bahamas. They were able to accomplish their goal by "putting aside funds for the construction and equipping of medical facilities that would make quality healthcare more accessible and affordable for Bahamian residents." The Marsh Harbour Clinic was the first of its kind.
Minister of Health, Dr. the Hon. Hubert A. Minnis, said the construction of the community hospital will replace the existing primary healthcare facility (clinic) in Marsh Harbour. "Through the Public Hospitals Authority, the facility will provide improvements and advancements in tele-medicine and tele-radiology for this area; it will allow for the rotation of specialists in New Providence to Marsh Harbour, while also allowing for the bridging and expansion of electronic medical records, numerous outpatient surgical procedures and expanded ante-natal care delivery.
"All residents of Abaco, including those who presently access private health services will benefit from the new and expanded services this facility will provide," Dr. Minnis added.
EMG (Electromyography) is the study of electrical activity of the muscles. NCS (Nerve Conduction Study) is the study of electrical activity of nerves. When combined these tests provide a very effective tool in the diagnosing of neurological disorders. MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), CAT (Computed Axial Tomography) Scans and X-rays are diagnostic tests that look for structural abnormalities in specific body parts. While determining if there is structural damage, these radiology tests cannot determine if the structures are functioning, or how these structures are affecting nerves and muscles, or if they themselves are being affected by the abnormal functioning of nerves or muscles. EMG/NCS is extremely helpful whenever there is possibility of nerve or muscle damage.
The study is conducted in two parts. The NCS is usually performed first by the neurodiagnostic technologist, who test the nerves by applying surface recording electrodes over various muscles or nerves on different parts of the body (e.g. hands, arms, legs and feet). The technologist then stimulates various nerves by using a probe/stimulating electrode that provides a small electrical current to the nerve, which is then measured and recorded. This small electrical stimulus can be compared to the sensation of a static shock felt from rubbing your body on a carpet or touching a refrigerator. The speed, shape, height and pattern of the electrical response of the nerves provides information on whether or not the nerves are injured and where the injury is located.
The second part of study is usually performed by a physician with specialized training in Neurophysiology/Neurodiagnostics after reviewing the NCS. The physician uses a small recording needle electrode, very similar in size to an acupuncture needle, which he inserts through the skin into various muscles that receive nerve supply from different nerves or spinal nerve roots. The needle electrode is connected to a machine, with an oscilloscope that records the electrical activity. This electrical activity also generates sounds that allows the doctor to both listen and see the electrical activity of the muscles at rest and during muscle contraction. While some find it uncomfortable, the more relaxed the patient is, the easier it is to tolerate the needle exam.
The entire study is then analyzed by the physician trained in neurophysiology who generates a comprehensive report, presenting objective findings and stating if the study is normal or abnormal and if possible, the likely site(s) of the injury.
This study looks very specifically at muscles and nerves. Some of the more common medical conditions which benefit from EMG/NCS testing include carpal tunnel syndrome, cervical radiculopathy (pinched nerve in the neck), low back pain, spinal injury, sciatica, traumatic nerve injury (e.g. gunshot or motor vehicle accidents) along with numbness and tingling of the feet. Some more severe but not as common conditions include ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis), Myopathy (muscle disease which can be congenital or acquired) and Guillain-Barre syndrome to name a few.
The EMG/NCS has been and continues to be a very important diagnostic test that helps in the management of neurological disorders to not only diagnose, but also to evaluate the effectiveness of various treatment options.
o Michael A. Morris is a neurodiagnostic technologist with 25 years in the field, who has training in EEG, Evoked Potentials, IOM and NCS. He became an American board-certified EDT (Electro-Diagnostic Technologist) in 1995. He relocated from Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Michigan in 2000. He is the Neurodiagnostic lab manager at the Bahamas Neurological Center.
Nassau, Bahamas - Teams from the Public Hospitals Authority representing the National Emergency Health Services, Radiology and Occupational Therapy departments created interactive booths that proved popular with students and parents at Nassau Christian Academy's Careers Fair on Friday March 23.
AS medicine and its related services develop in The Bahamas, the need for medical specialists also increases.
Medical specialists are physicians who are trained to wok in a specific area of medicine such as pediatrics, radiology, family medicine, internal medicine and so on.
RBC has announced a $50,000 donation to the Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation in support of its "Caring for Breasts Campaign". The goal of the campaign is to raise $500,000 for the purchase of a much needed mammography machine for Princess Margaret Hospital that will provide state-of-the-art screening for breast cancer.
RBC has taken on a leadership role in this initiative and is the first corporate entity to provide major support. The $50,000 represents 10 percent of the cost of the machine and RBC is encouraging other corporate entities to join the fight against this terrible disease.
Breast cancer is a major health crisis facing The Bahamas. A recent research study found that the percentage of Bahamian women with an abnormal gene that predisposes them to cancer is among the highest in the world.
These findings point to the need for increased screening of all Bahamian women and at earlier ages. The new machine PMH plans to purchase will:
o Allow the Mammography Service to increase capacity for screening women by 100 percent in its current service times available. The Radiology and Imaging Department, however, plans with the addition of this machine to extend its hours of service to make the department more patient friendly, and to accommodate client work schedules. Extended service would be from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. weekdays and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends. It will, however, also require the hiring of two new radiographers and one scheduling clerk. If successful in extending hours, as planned, the department will be able to increase service productivity by a further 100 percent.
o Assist in meeting departmental goals for providing patients access to technology that decreases radiation exposure (by up to 30 percent).
o Provide sharper images that can be manipulated/viewed from multiple angles.
o Facilitate succinct storage of images per patient so that previous screenings can be easily referenced on an electronic database.
The check presentation was made to Sharon Wilson, fundraising chairperson of the Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation, by Nat Beneby and George Roache. Also present at the presentation were Herbert Brown, managing director, Public Hospitals Authority; Coralee Adderley, chief hospital administrator, PMH; Dr. Devonne Curling, oncologist; and Nancy Kelly, foundation board member.
The managing director of the Public Hospitals Authority (PHA) said "there is absolutely no question" the purchase of the $1.9 million Island Palm Hotel will lead to the creation of a medical tourism product in Grand Bahama.
Herbert Brown said a purchase agreement has been signed and the property should be officially in the hands of the government and the PHA within the next two weeks.
The site, soon to be absorbed by the Rand Memorial Hospital (RMH), includes four, three-story buildings containing 156 rooms. Two other single-story buildings, containing a restaurant and kitchen, will immediately be used by the Rand Memorial as the new cafeteria, Brown revealed.
The space opened up in the main hospital will be converted into private rooms for patients, and more are expected as buildings on the hotel site are demolished and construction begins.
Brown explained that the space allows them to properly develop a healthcare product that is attractive for both Bahamians and an up-and-coming medical tourism market.
"There is absolutely no question about the role of medical tourism," he said. "What it does is encourage people to develop second homes. But more importantly, having the skills and facilities here, it lets people know Grand Bahama is a beautiful place with superior care. I have no doubt it will begin to attract medical tourism."
Brown also emphasized the importance of world-class care to attract business and investors.
"We often receive inquiries from investors who want to know what plans we have for the development of healthcare for Grand Bahama," he told Guardian Business.
"So I think expansion of Rand in Freeport will mean this will spur investment and confidence among the international business community."
The managing director said PHA developed a master plan some years ago with the assistance of a Canadian group. Now that the hotel has been acquired, efforts have been made to update the planning and make adjustments before the process begins. While Brown could not provide a concrete timeline or budget, he did mention with confidence it would cost "in the tens of millions".
"It is a significant sum. This is going to be a major project," he told Guardian Business. "And certainly because of the economy there, it will create additional jobs, and then there are spin-offs. Once people are working, other businesses will benefit or start up. So it will create a boost for the economy."
Adding that the PHA has been working "extremely hard on this deal", he said the source of funding for the project has not yet been confirmed.
Goals for the hospital expansion, he added, include upgrading the radiology facilities to ensure the hospital has the space and equipment necessary to support improved services. More private beds and expanding the laboratory facilities are also on the agenda.
Rand Memorial is already in the midst of a $7.5 million expansion, Guardian Business reported last November. At this time, Brown revealed that $500,000 is spent transporting patients every year to Nassau because Grand Bahama lacked specialized services. He expects this sum to be "significantly reduced " with the work being done to the Rand Memorial.
An emergency department is already underway at Rand, along with two new operating theaters and two minor operating theaters.
Rand Memorial is also being seen as the hub for medical care for the northern Bahamas. Abaco, Bimini and other nearby islands will no longer need to travel to New Providence for standard or specialized care, he explained.