The Queen Elizabeth Hospital has by-passed a long standing local provider of medical supplies in favour of purchasing the same items at a higher price from an overseas company.
And the health care institution is also short of a number of key items, several of them related to neonatal care.
That’s what Opposition Barbados Labour Party Christ Church West, Dr. William Duguid, told the House of Assembly today, but his claim was denied by Minister of Health Donville Inniss.
Duguid was speaking in the House of Assembly during debate on a more than $50 million supplementary resolution.
“I am aware that the Queen Elizabeth Hospital spent $88,000 in colostomy bags and paid $176 per box when they should have been paying $51 to a local company, Collins, and I am surprised at that,” he asserted.
“When I did some research at that company I found that company has only three employees, so it begs the question, is this a real company making colostomy bags or is this a procurement shadow company in which things are being passed through?
“It is not only supplying colostomy bags, that company is supplying gloves to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, things that are often provided by Collins. So why have we again shifted from a Barbadian company employing hundreds of people in Barbados and providing a service to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital for years and instead to a J & R World Trading Corporation? What is so good about these colostomy bags that they must be three times the cost,” he asked?
Duguid also said that the QEH was now short of other medical supplies.
“So if we are using our resources appropriately and correctly in order to provide good care to our people in this country and to our children and to the neonates we have to provide the nurses with proper and adequate supplies and proper and adequate equipment,” the BLP spokesman added.
In response, Inniss said: “The truth of the matter is that Collins Limited does not supply colostomy bags to the QEH… It is a member of the Barbados Labour Party, who owns a company that has been supplying colostomy bags to the QEH, but was very inconsistent both in terms of quality as well as delivery schedules…
“And the Queen Elizabeth Hospital therefore was forced to go to J&R in the United States of America, which is a recognised supplier of those bags, bags approved by the Infection Control Department of the QEH. So there is nothing sinister about it.” (SC)