Submitted by Anthony Davis
Donville Inniss – Minister of Commerce, and International Business
“The Freundel Stuart administration says it is sticking to its guns to make Barbadian students at the University of the West Indies start pulling their pockets for tuition fees from next year even though welcoming a new private sector fund to bail out those who cannot afford to pay…The firm position was taken today by Minister of Commerce, and International Business, Donville Inniss, while launching a new charity known as Global Education Scholastic Trust…Inniss said the Government had done the right thing in the circumstances of the economic climate, and would carry through with it…It is not easy for me as a politician that would have taken in recent debates to reduce fees at UWI with effect from 2014, but it is one of those things we felt we had to do, and we stand by that decision.”
What else can one expect from an uncaring Government, whose scions – and probably their scions’ scions – have had a free education at the UWI Cave Hill Campus? The motto of this Government is now “after me the deluge”! Is this the same Government that Minister Blackett called people-centred? I guess he means centred around the 16 DLP Government MPs, but night runs till day catches it!
Minister Inniss can spare us his crocodile tears!
You do not have money for our students at UWI Cave Hill, nor for the QEH, but you have millions of dollars in waivers – including one for food and beverage which no hotel has had before – to throw at a multi-millionaire named “Butch” Stewart, although he took over a hotel here and promised to develop and refurbish it so that Barbadians could get work, but absconded leaving it to moulder and the iron in it to rust! This left those who had hopes of getting a job there up the creek without a paddle! “Is that “the right thing in the circumstances of the economic climate”, Minister Inniss?
Kammie Holder, Insurance Underwriter
“I would like to say to them, if they are incapable of running this country in such a way as to preserve these fundamental social rights of the Barbadian people – that is the right to free education, the right to free health care – then they should really relinquish the reins of Government and let somebody else try,” – David Commissiong
I Kammie Holder endorse the aforementioned comments despite the pervasive vindictiveness so evident in Barbados for speaking honestly and having an opposing view. The recent pronouncement by Honourable John Boyce that user fees may have to be introduced at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital QEH seems reactionary.
Below are 8 points why I am against any wholesale fees at QEH without broad consultation as required under servant leadership.
Submitted by Charles Knighton
Should the money spent on sex education be re-allocated?
Having harboured a long-standing belief that the time, effort and costs associated with government and/or NGO supported education programs designed to modify negative or dangerous human behaviour mainly serves as a means of employment for the various program facilitators, it was heartening to learn, beginning two or three years ago, that the rate of new cases of HIV infection had begun to decline as the effects of educating people in safe-sex practices had borne fruit.
Now, though, we seem to be faced with a conundrum, as the Chief Medical Officer has taken to both print and visual media to warn of an alarming spike in cases of syphilis. As we are all aware of how this infection is transmitted, claims for the efficacy of safe-sex education go out the window. Importantly, eliminating this red herring in the reported decline of HIV infection should provide an impetus for researchers to discern the proximate cause for this phenomenon.
Why was no x-ray ordered?
This is a very emotional issue for me so I will try to keep focused while making this submission.
Three months ago my father, the late Samuel Weekes sustained and injury while he was at the St Philip Geriatric Hospital.
Daddy was injured on the 11th of January 2013 and sustained what the attending doctor called “soft tissue damage”.
That Doctor prescribed Panadol, Paracetamol and Voltaren. Five days later, on the 16th of January, Daddy was transferred to the QEH.
Eight days later on the 24th of January, I received a call from the QEH indicating that Daddy actually suffered a fractured hip from his fall on the 11th of January during which time a doctor is prescribing Panadol and Voltaren.
QEH requested me to come and sign consent forms for an operation, which I did the same day.
In Barbados many think of the healthcare sector has those services delivered by the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and to a lesser degree, the polyclinics. This is wrong. The video provided (16 min) is worth watching to dispel such thinking. As an educated nation in 2013 we need to keep pace with how progressive countries are managing healthcare to deliver a QUALITY result.
As I sat down to write this week’s BU contribution on a pressing financial economic matter, I came across the break out of serious antibiotic-resistant bacteria problems at our only hospital. Those of us familiar with the various infections that plague British hospitals would not be surprised that Klebsiella bacteria has now arrived at the QEH. I must admit, it did not come as a shock to me, since a friend and I have only recently been discussing the rat-infested, rubbish-strewn, health and safety hazard that is the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. But it was the compulsive, arrogant, obstinate greed of the doctors behind their objections to alternative medicine that tipped me over in to widening the debate on the future of the health service and long-term care. It is not a concern about patient care, nor about the general welfare of ordinary Barbadians, but rather a determine attempt to co-opt the attorney general in their little game of protecting their money-making interests. To put it in simple terms, we are in a deep cesspit of our own making, typified by the abandoning of the elderly, so-called granny dumping, for which the entire nation should be ashamed, yet all these expensively educated people could think about is their own bank accounts.
There are issues of more pressing concern that doctors should be involved in, such as the mortality rate at the hospital, the high costs of X-rays and MRI examinations, of overall poor patient care by doctors, who attend surgeries as and when they like. Few Barbadian doctors, aware that their profession is about public health and not just money-making, have raised their heads from the trough that is taxpayers’ money to battle for improvements in the state of public health. But, typically, they are more concerned about the continuing rise of unregulated medical practice – so-called complementary medicine – not in the interest of the public, but because this medical practice main block one of their most lucrative income streams.
Barbadians who know the Grant family were shocked to learn in April of 2012 that they were charged with the theft of over $1/2 million dollars. The alleged criminal act is reported to have taken place at the Sandy Crest Medical Centre in St. James. Bail was posted at $250,000.00 for each of the accused, with two sureties. Regrettably Carole-Anne Grant, the matriarch, has since passed no doubt as a result of the tremendous stress the matter had placed on her health.
And why was BU shocked? The conceptualization of Sandy Crest was entirely done by Dr. Malcolm Grant in 2003. The Grants – husband and wife team – later approached Dr. Brian Charles and as they say the rest is history. After several years of a happy partnership both the business and social relationship soured.
The alleged facts of the case are as follows:
Group based at Simon Fraser University researching medical tourism in Barbados
The emergence of the private health care sector in Barbados has grabbed the attention of BU in recent times. One of the problems we face in Barbados is that we seem to make decisions without considering robust research. One such area is medical tourism. BU did a scan of the Democratic Labour Party’s Manifesto and we were not able to find any significant mention, and it was not a serious election platform issue. How important is medical tourism to the strategy to diversity our tourism product?
BU would have preferred the University of the West Indies to have undertaken any research to establish the viability of the medical tourism sector but we are not there yet. We note however that a research group based at Simon Fraser University (SFU) in Canada has generated a study which can be used to inform discussion on the subject of whether to establish a medical tourism sector.
Here is the link to a one page summary of the research.
Thanks to BU family member Sargeant for bring this matter to our attention.
Chief Medical Officer Joy St. John (l) Donville Inniss former minister of health – Source: Barbados Advocate
Three months later a routine query from Peter Heimlich (the son of the man who created the Heimlich manoeuvre) remains outstanding. BU first highlighted this matter in a December, 07, 2012 blog – Asthma Study Conducted at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Questioned. Minister Donville Inniss is currently preparing to contest in a general election on Thursday, Peter Heimlich will likely have to wait a little longer for a response to his query about a medical study using the “Heimlich manoeuvre for asthma” conducted on 67 children.
Here is the letter sent by Peter Heimlich in response to an email request from the minister on Jan 5, 2013. BU wonders why a minister has to be so intimately involved in this matter. This is a routine request which one of the health administrators should have executed on weeks ago.
See a full report on this matter on Heimlich’s blog – The Sidebar.
The following was posted on another BU blog by Nostradamus
Nation Newspaper today Feb 14, 2013 front page headline “Dengue worry”. Start of the story says “There has been a worrying spike in dengue cases so far this year. And the Ministry of Health views the situation so seriously that it has issued a bulletin to doctors, reminding them to report any suspected cases of the disease.”
Further on it says the Ministry of Health stated in a release that among other things that it would maintain surveillance at various sites and one of those areas noted is WETLANDS. Is the Ministry of Health aware that the sluice has not and is not functioning and that there has been no effective wetland water level control in place for many years ? No interchange of sea water and fresh water that is so vital to the health of the wetland and for a vibrant fish population to control mosquitoes naturally? When the sluice gate worked, it was possible to raise the water levels and get water flowing through the canals. Flowing water in the canals means fewer mosquitoes.