Minister Hails PMH Lab Staff and Pledges Incentives to Attract Persons to the Field

Laboratory Professionals Week 2018 got off to a successful start on Monday as Minister of Health, Dr. Hon. Duane E. Sands joined executives and staff of the Princess Margaret Hospital for the commencement of Lab Week. The week which is being held under the theme “Laboratory Professionals Get Results,” is designed to increase public understanding of, and appreciation for clinical laboratory personnel and the critical role they play in the delivery of health care in the country. Speaking to the importance of the week during the keynote remarks, Dr. Sands said “Almost every diagnosis or treatment decision is supported by the results produced in the medical laboratory, making this service an essential but often invisible team player in the patient’s care.”

Shortages of staff and resources in Laboratory Services Dr. Sands said is well known to him, and he proposed a solution to meet the obvious need, “I will, with assistance of those of you in the profession and guidance of relevant experts, seek to implement a medical technology program locally through the University of the Bahamas to facilitate the education, training and certification of new lab professionals up to the Baccalaureate level right here in the Bahamas.”  He further pledged, “I am committed to engaging the PHA and Ministry of Health in a dialogue with respect to providing greater incentives to attract and retain laboratory professionals and other allied health professionals.”  The Minister also stated his support for a review of salaries across the health system with an eye to addressing health careers where the country is facing critical shortfalls in staffing and recruitment. 

Director of PMH Laboratory Services, Dr. George Bruney and Laboratory Quality Manager, Dr. Ismae Whyms also brought remarks. PMH Hospital Administrator Mary Lightbourne-Walker thanked the laboratory staff for their service and dedication.

Following the Minister’s address laboratory staff received awards for years of service, while others received certificates of appreciation for their service.  The presentations were made by the Minister along with PMH Hospital Administrator Walker, PMH Medical Chief of Staff Dr. Caroline Burnett, and Dr. George Bruney.  The main corridor of the Critical Care Block has been decorated with display boards for Lab Week highlighting the many service areas of PMH Medical Laboratory.  The Minister, accompanied by hospital administration toured the various displays which will be judged by an independent panel and the winner announced at a later date. The event which was held in the hospital’s Critical Care Block is observed annually during the month of April.