If Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler gets his way, the proposed new institution to replace the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) would have a new focus.
Sinckler told Parliament Friday afternoon, during the Estimates debate that dealt with health, that while the country needed a new hospital, it should be one tailor-made to respond to the most predominant disease plaguing Barbados.
“Our intervention and response to medicine and medical care has to follow the demographics . . . the social, anthropological and demographic trend of our society. It cannot be that we just say ‘let’s have a new hospital’ because the old one is old. It has to respond to what is happening in society,” Sinckler said.
“So we may need to have a chronic disease prevention and treatment centre.”
Pointing out that a new hospital would cost the country at least US$300 million, Sinckler explained that prevention would save Barbados substantial sums and would ensure people are kept healthier longer.
He also suggested that it made no sense waiting until people got sick to try to find money to finance treating them.
“I think we need to set aside, in the course of this national conversation, a day in the next few months where we can perhaps deal with the issue of financing of health care as a specific item for debate and discourse where every member of the House [of Assembly] is able to come and to make their contribution and perhaps receive contributions from members of the public, not only in the various specialities of the discipline, but also people who would have a general view to contribute to that,” the Minister added. (EJ)