Minister of Health John Boyce has denied reports that the Psychiatric Hospital is suffering from a drug shortage.
Responding to comments made by St Thomas MP Cynthia Forde today in Parliament that she was in possession of a memorandum, which had been circulated around the hospital informing staff of a shortage of drugs, Boyce gave his assurance that everything was well at the Black Rock facility.
While admitting that everything “was not perfect” at the health institution, he maintained that neither its staff nor patients were being disadvantaged.
“There are 23 drugs listed on this page and there are four that are reported as being out of stock,” Boyce noted after viewing the memorandum, which was dated March 20, 2015.
“It would be reasonable of me to assume that at the end of the month when you are looking at your stock and reporting to your superiors, the pharmacist would indeed construct a memo which would reflect the status of the drug situation.
“It is not necessarily a reason for panic and I am not at any moment trying to say that there has never been a situation where drugs were short or out of stock in any institution in Barbados,” the Christ Church South MP explained.
While promising to investigate the situation, Boyce revealed that since that date, the Psychiatric Hospital had received an injection of funds.
This, he said, would allow for the hospital to operate at an optimum level.
“Subsequent to this date the Psychiatric Hospital has received on one occasion $166,000 worth of pharmaceuticals,” Boyce pointed out.
“On average the hospital uses about $102,000 worth of pharmaceuticals monthly. That would seem to indicate to me that the situation has been returned to even above what exists in this memo.
“And as has been pointed out in this debate, that [drug shortage] has been a phenomenon which has been part of our experience even in the times when they were plenty of money to deal with the issue,” he added.