John Boyce, Minister of Health
It has come as no surprise to many tthe Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) continues to be affected by shortages of critical medical supplies. Despite assurances from Barbados Association of Medical Practitioners (BAMP) officials that care to the critically ill will not be compromised by the current state, BU remains stoutly sceptical and pray to the gods members of the BU household do not become afflicted by any serious malady in the near future. To listen to Minister John Boyce condescendingly advising Barbadians not to panic in the Lower House has done nothing to dissuade our view.
Who in their right mind believed that a 35 million dollar cut to the health budget 2013 would not have adversely affected healthcare delivery in Barbados? Explaining the cuts last year Minister John Boyce also gave an assurance , “ … that cost reduction measures at QEH were being taken in consultation with the Barbados Association of Medical Practitioners, the Medical Staff Committee, and the Barbados Registered Nurses Association” – see Boyce lists QEH cuts. BU is willing to be corrected but it seems the government through its agent Minister Boyce picked a number, in this case it was $35 million, with the unrealistic expectation to be able to find budget heads to cut to achieve the target. Bear in mind the CEO Dexter James was quoted in the media in 2012 confirming that the QEH required $200 million to finance the current hospital model and had received a budget of $154 million, a shortfall of 46 million.
The fight against HIV and AIDS continues
PORT OF SPAIN, 30 May, 2014—In a new move to jointly address the HIV epidemic and improve the lives of people living with the virus, countries in Latin America and the Caribbean and partner organisations have established new targets for expanding diagnosis and antiretroviral treatment (ART) and reducing patients’ viral loads by the year 2020.
The new targets–dubbed “90-90-90”–were adopted during the First Latin American and Caribbean Forum on the HIV Continuum of Care, which is being held this week in Mexico City. The Forum was organised by a coalition of partners including Mexico’s Secretariat of Health, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and ADS (UNAIDS) and the Pan American Health Organisation/World Health Organisation (PAHO/WHO).
“Expanding early diagnosis and treatment combines the clinical benefits of early treatment for patients with benefits to the population of preventing transmission,” said César Nuñez, Regional Director of UNAIDS for Latin America.
Barbadians are alarmed at the news Tuberculosis (TB) has reared its head in Barbados. The Chief Medical Officer Dr. Elizabeth Ferdinand has reported one case so far in a secondary school – see Barbados Today report.- Click image to view presentation on Tuberculosis submitted by Dr. Georgie Porgie
BLP Press Briefing (Senator Dr. Jerome Walcott) – Tuesday, 20 May 2014
Senator Dr. Jerome Walcott, General Secretary of the Barbados Labour Party – “I was a doctor before I came into politics and will be one after politics”
The DLP Government has so conspired to fool the people of Barbados that “smoke and mirrors” is their answer to every problem. This is reinforced by personal abuse and charges of citizens being political and unpatriotic hurled at anyone, who so much as raises any concern about Government’s policies. The fact that this despotic approach seems to have worked at every turn has emboldened DLP Ministers and has apparently led to it being adopted by certain public officials. This trend of public officials making political statements in response to legitimate questions and concerns is a step in the wrong direction.
The BLP is saying this must stop especially when it comes to matters of life and death.
Nothing can be more unpatriotic than a Government which by its chosen policies, and its deliberate actions, fails to properly prepare for the Health care of its citizens. The BLP is appalled and outraged by the responses of both the CEO of the QEH, Mr. Dexter James and the Acting Minister of Health Donville Inniss to a simple concern expressed regarding dialysis treatment at the hospital. It is shocking that the CEO of the island’s lone tertiary care health facility, in his attempt to tell Barbadians what is or is not a “political issue”, could shoo off a situation in which dialysis patients could possibly have faced infection as merely “commonplace”.
Barbadians love sugar and this is no secret. We are known also as the amputation capital of the world and the high incidence of non communicable diseases is also no secret. There is evidence more Barbadians are buying into good diet and exercise albeit at too sluggish a rate.
Related link: Rational Approach To Diet, Exercise
Thanks to Bentley.
Professor Emeritus Henry Fraser
The Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) is in the news again. Professor Emeritus Henry Fraser made the announcement this Christmas week that the crisis at the QEH requires Minister of Health (MoH) John Boyce to meet with Minister Chris Sinckler as a matter of urgency. Of course this is the same MoH who boldly stated during the last budget debate that the deep cuts to the Ministry of Health budget would not compromise healthcare delivery.
Senator Irene Sandiford-Garner in response to the criticism offered the view that the QEH remains the best primary healthcare facility in the Caribbean. BU has no way to assess the veracity of Sandiford’s statement however one has to ask if Barbados should not hold the QEH to our high standard. Why should Barbadians retreat to accept benchmarking against healthcare systems in the region which have always looked to Barbados as the standard bearer?
It is instructive to remember that Fraser is an Independent Senator and Senator Sandiford-Garner is government appointed. The question to the BU family et al – who should we believe? Some issues CANNOT be about politics, the good health of a nation is a wealthy of a nation after all.
Submitted by Anthony Davis
Dr. Brian Charles
The fear of inordinately long waits at polyclinics and the QEH’s Accident and Emergency, and the current economic climate is forcing Barbadians to present at some medical facilities in the late stages of their illnesses. And, for one of the island’s leading emergency healthcare specialists, Dr. Brian Charles, this is a cause for concern.
“They are holding back because they don’t have the disposable income. They are holding back and they are hoping for the best; hoping that they get better before they actually have to come and see the doctor. This is not a good thing . . . but, if you don’t have the money to come, you don’t want to go to the Accident and Emergency Department at the QEH and wait. Likewise, you don’t want to have to go to the polyclinic and wait or go to have to get an appointment for a week, maybe two down the road. What choice do you have?”, he questioned – Source: Barbados Today, page 9 21 November 2013 edition
I cannot believe that this is the depth to which Barbados has sunk!
How many leagues under the sea is this?
Some of our people do not know where the next meal is coming from!
Some of them do not know if, and when, they will find employment!