A former Minister of Health believes money is better spent educating children on preventative health care than on treatment of adult Barbadians.
Donville Inniss, who is now Minister of Commerce and Industry, expressed this view as the House of Assembly discussed health during 2015 Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure on Friday.
He bemoaned the rising cost of health care in Barbados and said more emphasis should be placed on prevention rather than cures or treatments.
Zooming in on diabetes he said: “If we don’t address that at the community level, then there are more Barbadians who would end up with renal failure and on dialysis. I don’t want us to have a discussion and a call to find millions of dollars more to provide dialysis treatment for Barbadians. I think the resources are best deployed on the preventative side.”
Inniss addressed the extraordinary medical bill that comes with treatment of diabetics.
“We need to remind Barbadians that because of our lifestyle, many of them end up costing taxpayers $4,000 per month per individual for dialysis treatment. I’d rather spend $4,000 educating 20,000 primary school children about the harmful effects of their kind of lifestyle and dietary habits better than spend it on individuals who really ought to know better.”
Nonetheless, he commended the Ministry of Health for expanding the dialysis treatment programme in collaboration with the private sector to help bring down the cost.