Minister of Health John Boyce is pushing for the introduction of a special health card to make it easier for professionals to treat Barbadians when they fall ill.
He made the call for this as part of a wider health information system involving various aspects of the sector while speaking in the House of Assembly today, when debate on the White Paper on Aging continued.
“I think that the Ministry of Health is on good ground to seek to promote what they will eventually term a health card in the Barbados population to be made available that a member of our community, who has this card in their possession, immediately allows access of the professional, whether it be a nurse, a doctor, … on making the correct interventions, allows them access to their health history,” the Christ Church South MP told the Lower House.
“And this … will bring about a more effective, a more efficient way of diagnosing our health problems and treating these problems at the earliest opportunity possible.
“So my call is for the offices in the Ministry of Health to lead this charge in making sure that this health information system is taken on board and that the health card … allow immediate access to specific data about the patient from time to time,” he added. Boyce said while there might be some individuals who wanted this system to be perfect before it was introduced, he thought it was so important that the faster it was implemented the better.
“I believe firmly in the view that we need to start from somewhere, so we need to make that information that is collected in our data bases at the polyclinics immediately accessible, under proper security of course, to those who may have to make decisions at another time, whether in the Queen Elizabeth Hospital itself our geriatric institutions or indeed in our private doctors institutions,” he said.
“Whenever it is said and done we are all in this bed, so to speak, together; our private doctors and the institutions …like the Geriatric Hospital and the, Queen Elizabeth Hospital and our polyclinics and any other private or public institutions which from time to time seek to offer this care.”
Boyce also said the time had come when Barbadians should seek access to health insurance, and he suggested the local insurance should do all it could to facilitate this. (SC)