The proposal to construct a new primary health care facility in Freeport, Grand Bahama remains a priority of The Bahamas Government, the Minister of Health and Social Development Dr. the Hon. Hubert Minnis said.

The Minister’s comments came at the official opening of the Lucayan Medical Diagnostic and Rehabilitation Center on Friday afternoon.

He was the featured speaker at the opening that marked another chapter in the history of the Lucayan Medical Centre, which was established on Grand Bahama back in 1968 and continues to deliver high quality health services to residents of Grand Bahama and the Northern Bahamas.

The construction of the new state-of-the-art Diagnostic and Rehabilitation wing at the Lucayan Medical Centre allows the facility to provide Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Scan, Computerised Axial Tomography (CAT) Scan, Standard and Fluoroscopic X-Rays, Mammography, Bone Densitometry, Ultrasonography, Electrocardiography, Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy Services and more.

Dr. Minnis told persons attending the opening that the new facility at Lucayan Medical Centre allows the operators to provide a wide array of diagnostic screening and rehabilitative services, which is a most welcomed addition to health care services in Grand Bahama.

He added that the Ministry of Health continues its upgrades of services and equipment at the two major health centres, Princess Margaret Hospital in New Providence and the Rand Memorial Hospital on Grand Bahama as well as at health care centres throughout the country.

According to Dr. Minnis, when speaking of diagnostic screening, one is immediately reminded of the chronic non-communicable diseases/lifestyle related diseases that are so prevalent in The Bahamas.

“In this regard, screening services are pivotal to effecting early treatment of diagnosed diseases and saving lives.

“To this end, my Ministry through its Healthy Lifestyle Programme continues to promote early detection by the use of diagnostic technology, along with the adoption of healthy practices to prevent the onset of these diseases,” he said.

Continuing, Dr. Minnis also advised that “the proposal to construct a new primary health care facility in Freeport remains a priority of the Government and when constructed will also play an important role in promoting the message of wellness.

“It will also be instrumental in providing diagnosis and treatment, thereby reducing the patient load for publicly funded primary health care at the Rand Memorial Hospital,” he said.

Dr. Minnis added that while there is a desire for immediate positive changes in the morbidity and mortality profile of The Bahamas and a reduction in the dominance of lifestyle related diseases, the role of diagnostic technologies in combating these diseases at present cannot be overstated.

“Likewise, the role of rehabilitation programmes particularly as they relate to minimising the risk of permanent disability is vital to the enhancement of patient outcomes.

“It can therefore be stated that this new diagnostic and rehabilitation centre along with its companion facility, the Lucayan Medical Centre East, will undoubtedly contribute to the strengthening of the provision of private health care services to Grand Bahama and the Northern Bahamas,” he said.

The Lucayan Medical Centre is headed by Dr. Marcus Bethel, a former Minister of Health, and employs approximately 36 persons, including 12 professional staff members.

The Health and Social Development Minister also took the opportunity to thank Dr. Bethel for his ongoing commitment to the provision of quality and holistic health care on the island of Grand Bahama.

He said it is good when the Government and private sector strive toward the goal of further enhancing the health of the Bahamian people.