Within the next three months, Barbadians will be benefiting from an improved ambulance service.
Newly appointed Minister of Health, John Boyce, gave Barbadians this assurance today while speaking on the 2013-2014 Estimates in the House of Assembly.
Boyce not only promised an improved ambulance service, but better accommodation for members of staff employed in that area.
The Christ Church South MP credited his predecessor, Donville Inniss, with stabilising health care in the country. Boyce gave Barbadians the assurance that while plans were being put in place to build a new hospital, he would ensure that health care services were adequate.
He noted that when Inniss assumed the office of minister of health, he had found the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in shambles. Boyce charged that the QEH was improperly powered while generators were lying idle in hallways and stairwells.
He alleged that the Barbados Labour Party Administration had made no provision for adequate care because they had conceptualised plans to construct a new hospital.
The former minister of transport and works told fellow members of Parliament that the Freundel Stuart Administration now has to do business differently, because Barbados has an ageing population.
He further stated that the high incidence of non-communicable diseases has become a major challenge in the country. Boyce charged that even with these new challenges no effort was made by the then BLP administration to transition the QEH.
Addressing the issue of funding for the Ministry of Health, Boyce gave the assurance that in the future there would be a better analysis of costs and the practice of “throwing about figures” would become a thing of the past.
He also responded to some of claims made by Opposition spokesmen on other areas of government activity, and recalled that then Minister of Housing, George Payne, not only ignored the advice of experts on the construction of the Warren’s Complex, but amended the National Housing Corporation Act so that agency it could build offices.
On the issue of tourism, Boyce dismissed suggestions that the industry was collapsing and referred to international publications which still regarded Barbados as a top destination. (NC) ††