The Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) now has upgraded its respiratory unit to a state-of-the-art facility to treat the 1,000-plus patients with breathing problems annually.
And the unit’s chief doctor has declared the hospital cannot only diagnose asthma but improve athletes’ lung function.
The newly renovated unit was opened in the presence of donors, QEH staff, members of the board and other interest groups.
Dr Dawn Alleyne, consultant head of the respiratory unit, said she was proud to report a new bronchoscopy suite could now cater to all aspects of respiratory care, including diagnosing asthma.
She said: “We can make diagnosis for people who have shortness of breath and you are not quite certain if it is because of heart disease, and also for elite athletes who are training because they have a goal, for example, to go to the Olympics.
“So this can be used for people who are well, and people who are unwell, and of course for persons who are going for certain types of surgeries.
“All of those patients require lung function testing before surgery so that we can choose the correct type of anesthesia and the correct operations for the patients.
“So really what we do here helps people in terms of diagnostics as far, and as well as monitoring what we are doing and seeing whether or not we are doing the right thing.”
The Broadway to Barbados Charitable Trust and Massy Foundation each donated $150,000 to the cause, while the Rotary Club of Barbados West contributed $60,000 towards the renovation of the Unit and the procurement of needed medical equipment.
Commissioner on Health Care Financing in the Ministry of Health, Danny Gill, who delivered remarks on behalf of Minister of Health Lt Col Jeffrey Bostic, said that in trying economic times, it was imperative to think strategically and foster better public-private partnerships.
Gill said such endeavours were especially important in health care where countries were constantly facing threats to maintaining certain minimum standards of care.
He indicated that changing disease profiles, rising costs due to the advent of new diagnostic or therapeutic technologies were some of the variables faced.
He said: “Public-private partnerships are the vehicles through which such endeavours we can help improve the quality of services through renovation of service delivery areas such as the Respiratory Unit or hospital wards or clinics.
“As such, the Ministry of Health and Wellness applauds the Broadway to Barbados Charitable Trust, the Massy Foundation and the Rotary Club of Barbados West for this generous and timely endowment.
“It is our desire that this and other philanthropic partnerships cultivates between the QEH and private sector entities or non-governmental organisations and will continue to grow in the coming years.
“I also sincerely hope that corporate Barbados will take note of this initiative and in a show of corporate responsibility sign on to assist the QEH through similar ventures,” Gill added.
Director of the hospital’s board, Robert Bourque, remarked that partners such as those who contributed to the refurbishment of the unit do not come around every day and must therefore be applauded for the efforts they make to society and the hospital.
Bourque said: “We as a hospital must seek out these partnerships in order to build a social vanguard that we all can be proud of.
“Saying that, I am placing the challenge out there to the private sector and even individuals that can lend support, to put on the boots and the hard hats so that we as a country and people can use the hospital as a place and source of national pride.