More than five weeks since Hurricane Dorian devastated the Bahamas, the complexities of the storm and the recovery are in some ways just beginning to reveal themselves. But scientists also say the long game for the Bahamas is very uncertain, just as the certainty grows linking climate change and a greater frequency of strong hurricanes. Science correspondent Miles O’Brien reports.
First part of videocovers the damage to the RAND Hospital and outlying hospitals on East Grand Bahama.
IT WILL cost roughly $19m to return Rand Memorial Hospital in Grand Bahama to working condition following Hurricane Dorian, Health Minister Dr. Duane Sands revealed yesterday.
Officials are eyeing the end of 2019 to have the work completed.
“So the current plan is the Rand will be closed down for repairs. There has been tremendous structural damage to the Rand and that structural damage has rendered most of the facility unsafe for occupation,” Dr. Sands said in response to a question from The Tribune outside of Cabinet yesterday.
“Tuesday, a group of interested parties will be meeting with the managing director of the Public Hospitals Authority to express commitments for different projects within the Rand to bring it back to like new. We intend to do this in phases and complete it by the end of 2019.
“That said there is still an interest in a brand new facility to replace the Rand Memorial Hospital but that decision obviously requires the consent of the Cabinet of the Bahamas.”
He explained that the repairs are to be done by several private groups.
“These are donations to the people of the Bahamas, so we have benefitted from the donations of Samaritan’s Purse. They saw almost 125 patients yesterday. As a matter of fact for all intents and purposes taken over the acute care in Freeport,” Dr. Sands said.
“They have in patients now, they have an intensive care unit. There is another field hospital in High Rock and they have been providing services to the people in east Grand Bahama. We also have the support of a number of non-governmental organizations and emergency medical teams in Abaco. So the hope is that the Bahamian health professionals have an opportunity to get their lives back together again as a number of these organizations have committed to be with us for as much as 120 days.
“So if we can get the Rand functioning again, if we can get our clinics functioning again; let people recover some sense of normalcy to their life then maybe we can resume ordinary services.”
Asked by The Tribune to reveal the cost for this work, Dr. Sands said: “Our preliminary estimates as much as about $19m.”
Samaritan’s Purse, an international NGO, set up a state-of-the-art field hospital on Grand Bahama shortly after Hurricane Dorian’s passage.
Hospital Administrator Sharon Williams told The Tribune earlier this month that the field hospital would provide the same services that RMH offered to patients.
www.RebuildOurHospitals.org is the only fund raising program exclusively dedicated to helping The Public Hospitals Authority of The Commonwealth of the Bahamas to restore healthcare facilities to those devastated by Hurricane Dorian. Right now, flood damage has rendered the only hospital on Grand Bahamas largely non-operational and two vital clinics no longer exist. As such, critical services are being delivered in field hospitals.
When the news cycle shifts elsewhere and all the international support eventually departs, PHA still faces a difficult and long road ahead as vital infrastructure is reestablished, facilities rebuilt, moldy walls repaired, damaged equipment replaced, and life-giving and life-saving services eventually returned. Donate with confidence. This fund is managed by SBP, a highly respected U.S. Non-Profit founded in the wake of Hurricane Katrina (5 Star rating by Charity Navigator). Here is more helpful information:
How much is looking to be raised?
The GoFundMe (GFM) Campaign has a stretch goal of $1M and is focused on immediate restoration of services at the hospital and clinics when temporary facilities leave in about 3 months.
What are the specific allocations of the funds?
100% of all the funds will go towards restoring healthcare facilities and services. This includes restoration/construction of the hospital and clinic facilities as well as purchase of necessary equipment.
Are donations tax deductible in the U.S.?
All donations are tax deductible given the fund manager, SBP, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.