The cash-strapped Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) has received a welcome donation of about $116,900 worth of equipment and training through philanthropic efforts.
It came exactly a month after Chief Executive Officer Dr Dexter James announced that the health facility would be going after philanthropy in a big way to help fund its operations.
Yesterday, officials of the Broadway to Barbados Charitable Trust in association with the Massy Foundation and the Government of Israel, announced the donation of supply packs, two ultra sound machines, and training for about 28 doctors in the Accident and Emergency Department and two from the Department of Internal Medicine in the area of ultra sound use – a total value of $116,900.
Making the announcement at the hospital’s boardroom, chairman and trustee of the Broadway to Barbados Charitable Trust Robert Bourque said the decision to provide this most recent boost to the hospital was taken earlier this year because of the identified need.
The training of the A&E officials to use the ultrasound machines will take place over the next two weeks.
“I often see in the newspapers the comments about how the private sector should step up to the plate and work in cooperation with the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and other government agencies,” said Bourque.
“I believe that we have developed … almost a template for partnerships that can occur between government agencies and private sector charitable entities or persons or companies. They can be very successful . . . When we get involved in projects, we want to know they are bringing some cost savings for the hospital or productivity improvements or improved care to the patients,” he said, adding that the charitable organization believed it was also important to provide ongoing maintenance.
When it started about five years ago, the Broadway to Barbados Charitable Trust partnered with the QEH to facilitate a now fully operational 12-unit medical intensive care centre with modern critical care equipment and ongoing maintenance support.
To date, the Broadway to Barbados Charitable Trust has contributed in excess of $2 million to the medical facility.
Welcoming the continued support of the Broadway to Barbados Charitable Trust, Dr James said the partnership was “not a fly by night arrangement”.
“This is a well thought-out public/private partnership in its most advanced form and its most developed form,” said James.
“We support the initiative. It is part of our philanthropic drive to find ways of raising additional capital revenues to complement those provided by the Government of Barbados,” he added.
Dr Chaynie Williams, Head of A&E Department said the ultrasound training was timely, adding that it would help doctors to improve efficiency and accuracy in doing procedures and making diagnosis.
She gave the assurance that over the next two weeks during training that care at the A&E department would not be compromised because it will “be fully staffed at all times as per usual”.
“The A&E can’t shut. So those four persons who are not going to be exposed to the training will be trained directly by those who have the training,” said Williams.
She also announced that about 40 nurses will also be afforded online training come January with the Emergency Association of Nurses in the US in the area of emergency training, thanks to the charitable trust.
“It really is the core to our sustainability in terms of cutting edge medicine that we are trying to practise for the public of Barbados in order we keep our patients safe and improve our quality of care,” she said.