Barbadians can now breath a sigh of relief with news that three brand new ambulances are on their way for the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
Minister of Health John Boyce gave Barbadians this assurance today in the House of Assembly while introducing a resolution which sought a Government guarantee of a loan of $25 million for the Queen Elizabeth Hospital from RBC Royal Bank Ltd.
The Christ Church South MP said: “In this regard I will like to announce that three ambulances to augment the QEH ambulance service are in the Pacific Ocean on their way to Barbados. Again, a service which sometimes does not get the commendation that it deserves, but I once again record my thanks to Mr Brathwaite and his team at the ambulance service for a job well done.
“There has been tremendous improvements in the service and I want to say I observed and I have worked with that team to get the service to a stage where even with a shortage of vehicles and not necessarily able to get to every call that we should, is a management regime in place which ensures that proper priority is given and that the attention to the public is in keeping with what they deserve”.
The Minister of Health noted that they are some private ambulance delivery services in Barbados and stressed that the ministry supports them in their supporting role.
“Sometimes if we are extremely short of equipment we will hire their services, but sometimes families will use them directly in an effort to have their loved ones immediately treated. So when these three ambulances arrive on January 27 2014, and we get them into service, I predict that we will be able bring down even further that average waiting time between the call at the ambulance service desk and being able to have the patient being seen at the Accident and Emergency Department at the QEH.
“Of course, treatment has reached the stage where some level of treatment is delivered in our ambulances. No longer do we pick patients up hustle them off to the hospital, but a large percentage of stabilization occurs at the scene of the accident or when the patient taken up. The staff continues to get some of the best training in this regard.
“As a matter of fact, I had a meeting with a group who call themselves the Accident and Emergency association and they are building the association so as to ensure the very best delivery of care that we can look forward to in the event of these kinds of emergencies. These emergencies are very, very important and as the saying goes, the difference between an accident and a catastrophe is how the accident is handled. So the work of the technicians at the Accident and Emergency Service under Mr Brathwaite is highly recognized and commended in this regard,” Boyce added.
Boyce said he would like to extend appreciation on behalf of the government for the gift of mini-ambulances by United Arab Emirates.
He further stated that they are not full ambulances and they are in the port. He pointed out that the Ministry of Health and the Accident and Emergency Department will roll out the best uses to which they can be put. (NC)