Urgent care centre planned for Hamilton

Hamilton is set to receive its first walk-in urgent care treatment centre next year in the heart of the city.

The Hamilton Medical Centre is expanding to offer blood testing and diagnostic imaging under one roof at a new location, according to a press release.

Its facility, which will be located on Burnaby Street, will boast state-of-the art technology including the world’s most powerful truly open MRI, CT scanning, X-rays, ultrasound, mammography, bone density scanning and blood testing.

“As well as being a walk-in urgent care facility providing diagnosis and more immediate treatment, we also hope to provide a more convenient place for patients to have their MRI, CT, X-ray, ultrasound or other tests done as ordered by their own doctor,” JJ Soares, director of Hamilton Medical Centre Ltd, said. “This means that people will not have to leave Hamilton to have their investigations.

“The opening of this facility will serve as a ‘win-win’ by delivering state-of-the-art service for patients while helping to keep costs low.”

Dr Soares added that while it is anticipated that the centre, which is presently located on Victoria Street, will move completely, this is not yet set in stone.

The new centre, intended to make medical treatment more accessible to the public, will also include services such as a free minibus designed to shuttle the physically challenged and seniors without transport to the facility. Walk-in patient care and diagnostic imaging will be available until 10pm, seven days a week.

An on-site radiologist will be available to interpret X-rays, MRIs and other images for faster diagnosis and the facility will also have an on-site pharmacy.

According to Dr Soares, the centre will help reduce healthcare costs by offering the likes of videoconferencing technology, which will enable consultations with specialists without patients having to go overseas.
Dr Soares said: “We have heard much of late about the burden that high-cost medical care is placing on the system.

“As healthcare providers, we must meet the challenge of finding innovative solutions to keep costs down while keeping patient care at the forefront. I firmly believe that the private sector is the best vehicle by which to achieve this.

“The testing done at our centre will be achieved at a much lower cost than if a patient were seen in the hospital emergency department and if the same testing were done there.”

Dr Soares added that the plans for the clinic had been shared with the Minister of Health, Jeanne Atherden, who was “quite supportive of the concept”.

“We are aware of general concerns surrounding the overutilisation of equipment, and will be working with the Bermuda Health Council to ensure that best medical practices are strictly adhered to,” Dr Soares said.

“We see the new centre as providing a supportive role to the hospital by allowing it to do its job even better in what can be considered an example of the public and private sectors working together to improve patient outcomes while simultaneously reducing costs.”

The planning phase is complete, with construction to begin immediately, and the new centre is expected to open in the middle of next year.

• For more information, contact Dr Soares at info@hmc.bm

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