Corporate Barbados is to be tapped to help refurbish district hospitals and polyclinics located in areas where targeted companies trade, Minister of Health and Wellness, Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Bostic has said.
Praising the collaboration between the ministry, the Barbados Defence Force and a number of private sector organisations to refurbish a ward at the Geriatric Hospital, the Health Minister said Government was interested in expanding the initiative.
He said: “Recognising that we do not have all the financial resources, as Minister of Health and Wellness I made the determination that we are going to attempt to address the issue across the country with the polyclinics and district hospitals.
“What we are going to be doing is to build on what we started at the Geriatric Hospital, but this time we are going to be asking corporate Barbados to contribute towards the facilities that are located within the areas where they are doing business and also ask Barbadians to contribute time and skills to help us get these things resolved.”
Lt. Col. Bostic said health had been identified as one of the priorities to which Barbadians in the diaspora, who will be returning home for We Gatherin’ next year, will be asked to contribute.
In a related development, the Minister of Health said Barbados’ ageing population continues to present a challenge to Government’s provision of institutionalized care.
He said the number of people seeking placement in district hospitals was way above their capacity, and even with the Alternative Care of the Elderly programme, where Government funds the private health care of 220 people, there were not enough places.
This was an issue which was high on the ministry’s agenda, he said, and a number of ideas were being examined to tackle the problem.
These include the expansion of the community programme which would allow the elderly to remain in their homes and communities being cared for by persons trained in the care of the elderly, he added.
“We believe that it is important to try to keep people within communities where they are familiar with the people and the environment,” Lt. Col. Bostic said. (BT/BGIS)