Statement From Senator Michael Darville and Dr. Melissa Evans

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Co-Chairs the Progressive Liberal Party’s COVID-19 Task Force

For Immediate Release
9 April 2020

We have had the benefit of a briefing from the Nursing Community and they have expressed a number of concerns which we bring to the attention of the Government:

Many nurses are of the impression that public announcements are being made about the state of readiness which do not line up with the facts. It is therefore important that the government explain to the Bahamian people the full facts about the state of readiness of our health care facilities to deal with this current COVID 19 crisis.

The Nurses claim that often decisions are made without consultation with them. We think that this can be rectified by easily ensuring that there is a nursing representative at the table to provide input from their vantage point and we highlight the importance of having all stakeholders at the table when plans are being formulated to deal with this crisis.

We note the sudden change in the government’s plan to use the RBDF base as a COVID 19 treatment centre. We now understand that the South Beach Clinic is to be retrofitted to accommodate COVID 19 Patients. Again the nurses claim that this facility is not ready for such use. This change from the RBDF base to South Beach Clinic has been announced without explanation and we call on the government to advise the reason for the abrupt change in location.

Nurses have also expressed concern that their colleagues who have joined the service within the last three years are reportedly without health insurance. They seek some assurance from government regarding their status.

We again ask the government to advise whether or not it has made a request like other CARICOM countries for assistance from Cuba.

We thank the nurses and other caregivers for their work during this crisis.
Our concern remains the Bahamian people.

We ask all Bahamians and residents to follow the protocols recommended by washing our hands for 20 seconds, physical distancing of at least 6 feet, wearing a mask in public, and during the lockdown to stay at home.

The PLP stands ready wherever it can assist.