The island’s premier health care instiitution, the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH), is in need of millions of dollars worth of equipment to adequately replenish its stock.
And officials there are not about to sit back and solely depend on generous donations.
In fact, chief executive officer Dr Dexter James says next month the hospital will be launching its Add Your 2 Cents drive in an effort to collect one cents across the island to set up a special fund to assist with the purchasing of the much needed equipment.
On May 7, the Central Bank of Barbados discontinued the issuance of one cent coins.
Following a $6,000 donation to the Asthma Bay Department at the hospital from the Insurance Corporation of Barbados Limited (ICBL) recently, officials at the QEH said it was in need of a range of equipment that could cost as mush as $3 million over the next couple of years.
James said the cents drive will be launched on June 2 and will run until December 31, 2014.
“So you will find around the hospital a number of boxes located where we will invite the public, visitors and staff to deposit their spare one cents. Dollars are accepted too but one cent is it. Really this is a drive towards the continued capitalization of a sinking fund for the orderly and planned replacement of capital equipment at the hospital. So these cents will go towards that fund that will not be mingled with our normal operations, and we will use that for purchasing the equipment [we need],” said James.
Director of engineering services Paula Agbowu told members of the media that the need of the Government owned institution was many and “spread across the entire plant”.
“We have needs within our laboratory for additional blood fridges, we also have needs for microscopes and also for one or two specialized pieces of equipment within our laboratory. Within the blood-collecting unit for example, we have needs for centrifuges. In the theatres we have need for additional anaesthetic machines and autoclaves and so on. But we also have needs for our [Intensive Care Unit] generally for cardiac type monitors, transport monitors [and] vital sign monitors,” she reported.
She said hospital was also in need of some specialized neurology equipment.