Minister of Health, Donville Inniss, today stated that he has no objections to local health care practitioners being granted concessions which could lower their costs and expand the range of health care services they offer to Barbadians.
This follows a cordial and productive meeting held with the Minister, other Ministry officials and President of the Barbados Association of Medical Practitioners, Dr. Carlos Chase, and President of the Barbados Dental Association, Dr. Vidya Armogan at the Ministry of Health’s headquarters.
BAMP and the BDA had earlier raised concerns that the American World Clinic, which is due to set up in Barbados, would be given concessions not available to the local fraternity.
However, Inniss made it clear that no document was signed outlining specific medical concessions for the AWC.
“However, if there is a deficiency I think that this is the time to bring clarity to the policies that inform these decisions,” the Minister said.
He added that he would be happy to facilitate discussions on the matter, and noted that special arrangements could be made for local practitioners because of the importance of health care.
Inniss also gave the doctors the assurance that he would engage the Ministry of Finance over the next couple of weeks so as to give clarity to health care professionals, and later set up a meeting with Minister Chris Sinckler, so they could raise their concerns, make recommendations and amend, if necessary, some of the guiding regulations.
The Health Minister added that he had written to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs in May this year stating the position of his Ministry that concessions should be granted to importers of capital goods that are to be utilised in the delivery of health care services in order to optimise the benefits to the population.
These provisions, he noted, could assist in returning Barbados as a health care centre of choice in the region, and possibly promote the island as a health tourism sector providing medical, dental and other health care services geared specifically at the tourism market. (BGIS)