Government is shifting some of its healthcare funding away from the lone general hospital towards a number of polyclinics, prescription drugs and the psychiatric hospital, the Estimates for the 2019-2020 fiscal year have revealed.
And the Bridgetown-based ambulance service is to see its funding slashed in half.
The Estimates, laid in Parliament on Tuesday, showed that the Queen Elizabeth Hospital is to get a grant of $129.5 million – a $20.67 million cut from the revised estimates for the current fiscal year which ends on March 31.
This figure is for “operation of the QEH and a range of specialist services”, according to the document, but it also is intended to cover “the refurbishing of wards and other areas within the hospital”, it said.
The QEH medical aid scheme, which pays for “expenses incurred in connection with patients and escorts, travelling for medical attention unavailable in Barbados”, is in line for a modest increase – $1.23 million, up from the $901,000 received in the last financial year. The scheme also pays for “services not available at the QEH as well as charges for trust account”.
The Emergency Ambulance Service is to get $3.3 million for the 2019/2020 fiscal year, a reduction of almost half from the $6 million received for the last fiscal year.
But in addition to district hospitals, polyclinics are in line for increases, with some of them getting more than double what they received in the last financial year.
And funding of the Psychiatric Hospital has been raised by just over $10.4 million from the last financial year to over $33.87 million.
Also getting a raise is the crucial Drug Service with a one-third increase from $17.2 million in the previous year to $27.6 million for the 2019/2020 fiscal year.
Overall, the Ministry of Health and Wellness is to be allocated $311.55 million for the 2019/2020 fiscal year, an increase of $41.69 million over the last financial year.