Construction for the $12 million healthcare center began under the Free National Movement (FNM) in April of 2012; this nearly 25 years after the first community clinic was built in Marsh Harbour in 1988.
The 33,000 square foot facility has three wings and is equipped with five doctor exam rooms, an eight bed unit and a state of the art laboratory. The trauma room has three beds.
The administration wing has a staff cafeteria and a state of the art pharmacy.
There is also a morgue where autopsies can be performed.
Community Health Administrator Charlene Bain said there are currently about 20 people working in the healthcare center which opened to the public on April 20.
That number is expected to increase to 70 by September inclusive of 16 nurses, five doctors, three pharmacists and two lab technicians.
Prime Minister Perry Christie, in his opening ceremony speech on April 19, reiterated his government’s commitment to see to the advancement of healthcare throughout all islands.
“…My government has continued to prioritize the development and reform of healthcare in our country because the old adage still rings true, ‘The health of the nation is the wealth of the nation,’” Christie said.
“Within these hallowed halls that we now dedicate to the service of the Bahamian people, doctors, nurses and support staff will dispense the highest quality care with professionalism and compassion.
“In the event of medical emergency, the facility is equipped to stabilize patients prior to referral to a tertiary facility such as the Princess Margaret Hospital or the Rand Memorial Hospital in Grand Bahama.
“Dental care, maternal and child health services, ambulatory care and other primary care services based out of this healthcare center will be upgraded as a new emphasis on patient-centered care is applied at every point of contact between healthcare providers and patients.
“The Marsh Harbour Healthcare Centre has also been designed to respond to the most challenging public health issues of our day.
“Globalization and advances in modern transportation has brought the world to our doorstep.
“The Bahamas, like other nations around the world, is forced to consider the impact of pandemic and trans-national infections.
“This facility not only allows for surveillance of select communicable diseases, but also for rapid response and containment of serious infectious diseases, increasing the capacities of public health services on the island.”