This article was written by Rayne Morgan in the Nassau Guardian on February 17, 2020.
The Rand Memorial Hospital on Grand Bahama is anticipated to be ready for move-in by the end of March, according to Minister of Health Dr. Duane Sands.
The hospital sustained serious damage during the passing of Hurricane Dorian in September with a report by Build Health International (BHI) stating that 80 percent of the hospital was inundated with flood damage.
That report projected that rehabilitation of the hospital will take at least six months and reconstruction will take more than two years.
However, on Friday, Sands touted the “impressive pace” of the reconstruction efforts.
“Work continues at an impressive pace at the Rand Memorial Hospital,” he noted in a social media post.
“Ministry of Health officials toured the construction site on Thursday, February 13, alongside PHA (Public Hospitals Authority) staff.
“Photos show considerable progress on the remediation which is expected to be ready for move-in by the end of next month.”
The timeline seems to be on schedule with Sands’ projection in December that works would be completed by the time the non-governmental organization (NGO) Samaritan’s Purse will be leaving the country.
Samaritan’s Purse has been operating a makeshift hospital on Grand Bahama since the monster storm, however, it is expected to be decommissioned in March.
In November, when work was beginning, Sands said: “We imagine that it will take about six months, and with the partners – Carnival and Direct Relief [and] University of Miami – we should get this done right as the Samaritan’s Purse engagement ends.”
Sands said previously it would cost roughly $20 million to repair the Rand, but international partners will fund the majority of that cost.
He said the government anticipated to spend less than $10 million on the repairs.
Government recently announced that it is projected to borrow an additional $587.9 million to cover the revenue shortfall and expenditure increase resulting from the hurricane, noting that $7.1 million is “budgeted for healthcare facilities on affected islands”, including $3 million for the Rand Memorial Hospital.