Barbados does not need another hospital. What is needed instead is for the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) to be properly managed.
That was the view of Independent Senator Sir Henry Fraser as he contributed today to the continuing Estimates debate in the Senate.
Responding to comments made last week by Minister of Health John Boyce that plans for a new hospital had been put on the backburner, Sir Henry said it was a waste of time spending $1 billion on a new facility when it would cost much less to deal with problems at the QEH.
“It’s not a new hospital which we need, it’s the money, the management, the morale and the supplies. If we can’t find the $50 million for those things to make the Queen Elizabeth Hospital run efficiently, then how can we find the billion dollars for a new hospital that is really, simply, not needed?” he questioned.
“Our hospital is built to last and needs refurbishment and a new state-of-the art block. Our need at the QEH is for money, management, morale and supplies to give our citizens the best care, and it really is time after several years of the dilemma at the hospital [for us to] discuss it in detail and in depth.”
Sir Henry said the input of shareholders, including the Barbados Association of Medical Practitioners (BAMP) and other health care associations, as well as individual doctors at several levels, was needed if the QEH was to be run efficiently.
“All that is called for is dialogue because health and lives are being compromised on a daily basis.
“And the idea of building a new hospital for a billion dollars when we can’t fund the drugs and supplies we need, is like a man with a donkey cart who wants to buy a car when he hasn’t got the funds to buy the food to feed his donkey,” he insisted.