Hospital administration at the Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH), in an urgent public notice on Wednesday, July 21st, 2021 announced the implementation of new measures to manage the institution’s already strained services as a result of a surge in COVID-19 cases presenting at the Emergency Department.
The Ministry of Health in its daily Covid-19 update on July 21st, informed that Covid-19 hospitalizations in the country had grown to 92 people, with 79 moderately ill, and 13 in intensive care. Active Covid-19 cases throughout the Bahamas stood at 1,264.
The new measures, said PMH administration, “are designed to reduce the spread of the virus among patients and staff, and to account for an increase in the number of persons having to be admitted, the overwhelming majority of whom are not vaccinated.”
The announcement continued, “The public is advised that effective immediately the Emergency Department is only accepting emergency cases. In the event of a medical emergency please call National Emergency Medical Services dispatchers at 919 or contact the PMH Emergency Department at 326-7014. Persons in need of care for non-medical emergencies should visit their doctor’s office or community clinic.
“The public is also further advised that all Elective Surgeries have been suspended and that Out-patient Laboratory Services have been suspended. Emergency out-patient laboratory services will resume at Agape Clinic on Monday July 26th, 2021. In-person appointments at Specialty Clinics and other out-patient services have been suspended with the exception of:
• Emergency Maternity cases;
• Oncology Services, by appointment only;
• Dialysis Services, by appointment only;
• Obstetrics High Risk Clinic, by appointment ;
• Radiology & Diagnostic Services, by appointment or emergency cases only;
• Orthopedic Services – Fracture and Hand by appointment or emergency cases only;
• Out-patient Rehabilitation Services, by appointment only;
• PMH Blood Bank, by appointment only or off-site blood drive.
“Specialty Clinics will operate virtually by appointment only, allowing for consultations. Patients needing to reschedule in-person clinic appointments should contact the PMH Appointment Scheduling unit. E-mail a copy of the referral to email@example.com, or send a clear photo of the referral form to 808-9972 via WhatsApp or SMS. Telephone calls will not be answered.
“PMH Agape Clinic (Family Medicine Clinic) at 4th Terrace will operate at reduced hours from 8a.m. to 4p.m., Monday to Friday, mainly by appointment. Limited walk-in patients will be accommodated.
“The Eye Care Centre on Soldier Road will operate from 8a.m. to 4p.m.
“The PMH Prescription Refill Program allows prescriptions that are submitted via the refill programme to be collected directly from the hospital’s front desk once confirmation of prescription is received from the Pharmacy. Persons requiring prescription refills for chronic medications should send a message with the Rx number and the MRN (which can be found on the medication label) to 424-3642 via WhatsApp. Do not submit a photo of the prescription label.
“The hospital is also making an urgent appeal to the public for blood donations as the Blood Bank is experiencing a critical shortage of blood supply as voluntary blood donations and replacement supply donations have been impacted by the ongoing COVID pandemic. To donate blood, please e-mail the PMH Blood Bank at firstname.lastname@example.org to register for an appointment or call 502-7822 or 322-8077.
“Patients and others accessing services at PMH will be required to strictly adhere to all COVID-19 prevention protocols including social distancing, temperature checks, face masks and handwashing at the hospital main entrance.
The public is reminded that patient visitation remains suspended. Intensive Care (ICU) and Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICU) visitation will take place on a case-by-case basis as determined by clinicians.
“PMH has implemented a drop off system for patients. Items may be dropped off at the main entrance of the hospital daily from 12pm to 1pm and from 6pm to 8pm. All items must be packaged in a secure bag, clearly labeled with the patient’s name, and designated ward. Only one (1) bag per patient is allowed per drop off. Items dropped off must comply with the hospital’s policies regarding items permitted in hospital.
“Hospital management apologizes for any delays in service as a result of these adjustments. The public is further advised to follow all announcements and public advisories from the Ministry of Health and Public Hospitals Authority regarding Health and Hospital Services.”
Public Hospitals Authority (PHA) Corporate Communications