Doctors are warning that shortages of basic and essential supplies will continue at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) with Government cutting the allocation to the already underfunded facility by another $10 million this year.
The Barbados Association of Medical Practitioners (BAMP) is calling for “necessary, decisive and corrective action to be taken now”.
The association voiced concern about the funding cut in a statement issued late Saturday, about 24 hours after the House of Assembly ended debate on the 2014/2015 Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure, during which healthcare and the financing of the QEH was extensively discussed.
“The QEH was already underfunded and required large supplementals in order to function. A planned cut in the principal allocation, mounting arrears to suppliers, with no change of the business model, demonstrates a lack of will or understanding on the part of the Government to adequately address the financing of the hospital,” BAMP public relations officer Dr Lynda Williams said.
“Shortages of basic and essential supplies at the QEH are therefore bound to reoccur in the next fiscal year, in the absence of a definitive plan aligned to the reduced allocation. It is no longer acceptable to say that a change in healthcare financing is forthcoming when it is long overdue. We call for the necessary, decisive and corrective action to be taken now.”
Doctors have publicly complained in recent months about lack of drug and other essential supplies to tend to patients and announced on at least one occasion that they would be forced to deal with only emergency cases.
Dr Williams said while there has been monthly dialogue between the QEH administration and the doctors represented by BAMP and the Junior Doctors Association, they could not declare that all was well at the hospital.