Minister of Health Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Bostic says while a lot has been done in terms of improving patient experience and reducing the wait time at the Accident and Emergency Unit of the QEH, the hospital remains overwhelmed.
Speaking Sunday night at the Barbados Labour Party’s 1st Anniversary Political Rally at Carlisle Car Park, Bridgetown, Bostic said the new Accident and Emergency wing is not yet ready, but numerous changes have been made to improve the efficiency of the critical department.
These include establishment of a Minor Cases Unit to deal with minor ailments, preventing sometimes 12-hour wait times for some patients.
Bostic said there is also a Short Service Unit with 10 beds to serve people who have been discharged but are awaiting results.
Speaking on the 24-hour polyclinics, the Minister called on the unions and health workers to let common sense prevail in the negotiations.
While not saying much due to the ongoing negotiations, Bostic asked unions to be cooperative as the service is critical for the livelihood of ordinary Barbadians.
On Saturday the Ministry announced that the meeting to discuss new issues which have arisen in relation to the introduction of the 24-hour polyclinic service will resume this week after an initial meeting Saturday.
In a statement issued after the meeting, the Ministry of Health and Wellness described the talks between itself, the Ministry of the Public Service and the representatives of the public health nurses as “cordial”.
The nurses are being represented in the discussions by the National Union of Public Workers, the Unity Workers’ Union and the Barbados Nurses’ Association.
The planned launch of the 24-hour service at the Winston Scott Polyclinic and the David Thompson Social Services Complex, which was scheduled for Saturday, was postponed after it was agreed that further deliberations were necessary.
On Monday, June 3, all polyclinics will close at 4 p.m. to allow the nurses to attend a meeting with their trade union representatives. (KS)