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Govt victimizing Cat Island voters; snakes dropping from clinic roof

Updated: Nov 17, 2020

Cat Island residents are being punished by the Minnis Administration for voting Cat Island, Rum Cay and San Salvador MP Philip Brave Davis back in during the 2017 General Election.

Three years after the government abandoned the Christie Administration’s $11 million planned investment in several clinics across Cat Island, residents in the north are stuck with an old teachers cottage that was turned into a makeshift clinic.

In 2018, then Minister of Health Dr. Duane Sands said it was unrealistic for the government to spend millions of dollars on clinics for Cat Island and estimated only ten residents would visit the clinics a day.

Now residents have to go to the tiny Orange Creek Clinic, an inadequate facility, for medical care. The front steps are cracking and the dirty building is in dire need of a fresh coat of paint.

The proposed site of the new medical facility is overgrown with weeds and the building sits unfinished.

The equipment and supplies purchased for the project are sitting there rotting.

The proposed Old Bight clinic also remains unfinished after the contract was cancelled. Thieves have started stripping the building of pricy materials which have started to rot.

In Smith’s Bay, the proposed clinic site is fenced in but has been taken over by overgrown bushes.

The government axed plans for the $6.6 million Smith’s Bay Clinic claiming the facility would only see an average of five patients a day but promised to deliver excellent healthcare.

“Cat Island, my ministry is prepared to ensure that all people in The Bahamas have access to excellent health care but it doesn’t mean we should build out expensive edifices that we can ill afford to maintain,” said then Health Minister Dr. Duane Sands.

However, two years later, residents are still waiting for that excellence healthcare.

The sick and injured seek medical attention in an old rundown building that leaks, the clinic roof is swarming with snakes that crawl in on staff and patients and there are no handicapped ramps for the elderly and injured who have to be lifted into the building.

The former government awarded three clinic construction contracts that were valued at $2.349 million for Old Bight, $2.1 million for Orange Creek Clinic and $6.6 million for Smith's Bay.

Will residents have to wait for another general election before they can benefit from the proper facilities they deserve?

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