The new Bayview Urgent Care Centre will be providing some free medical services annually, up to the value of BDS$150,000 to Barbadians in partnership with the Ministry of Health.
The services to be covered are still to be agreed.
Chairman of the Bayview Hospital Peter Harris said that individuals requiring urgent medical services but unable to afford it, will be able to go to the Ministry of Health and receive a stamped referral document giving approval following which they are able to attend the Bayview Urgent Care Centre and receive the service they require.
“So then, we offset the cost of that particular service against the credit we have given the Ministry of Health. That goes until the $150,000 is used up annually,” explained Harris.
The model has been in place for diagnostic radiology services for X-rays, CT scan, ultra sound and MRIs for the past ten years.
This further social responsibility commitment came last Friday as officials broke ground for the construction of a $12 million multi-purpose, state-of-the-art urgent care facility at the Bayview Hospital site in St Paul’s Avenue, St Michael.
The move by Bayview to offer the services to those waiting within the public health care system came after the company received a waiver on duties associated with construction of the urgent care extension of the hospital.
“What we did, we took the value of that duty-free concession and gave it back in medical services for the public system for those people who needed urgent attention, Because of the hospital’s backlog, the urgent ones come to us,” said Harris.
He told Barbados TODAY he believed this should be a model that is adopted by other private sector entities across the island who benefit from Government concessions.
“If you get a tax concession on something it means that money is not going into the government’s coffers, and if it doesn’t go in there and we are short of cash to provide social services, it impacts somebody. So if you are going to get that concession then you need to give something back in return,” explained Harris.
“You are not a provider of social services, you are in the business to make money. So if you are going to make money as a result of tax concessions you should give something back to society. That is how I see it,” he said.
During the groundbreaking exercise last Friday, Prime Minister Mia Mottley welcomed the upgrade to the Bayview Hospital and the $150,000 in medical services to be offered, as she stressed the importance of private-public sector partnerships in the delivery of healthcare services.
“Barbados does not deliver healthcare only through the public system, and while we have one of the most advanced public healthcare systems in developing countries, we cannot do it on our own. The partnership with the private sector and private medical and nursing practitioners and others who are allied to the industry, are critical if we are to allow our people to be able to benefit from the best that we can have access to as a small island developing state,” said Mottley.
At the same time, she expressed concern over the quality of life of, and cost to, people affected by non-communicable diseases, while urging residents to take greater responsibility for their health.
“Partnership is critical if we are going to turn the corner with respect to, not only to the delivery of healthcare for our citizens, but also for our citizen’s acceptance of their responsibility for their own individual health,” said Mottley.
She said the COVID-19 pandemic should serve as a reminder of the importance of wellness. She reminded the audience that the majority of those being adversely affected by the virus were those “who are literally facing all kinds of conditions that they might otherwise not be facing had they had a different approach on how they dealt with their personal wellness along the way”.
“This country is facing an epidemic with respect to diabetes. Let us be clear about it . . . and unless we do something about it, it is going to cost us not just at the national level, but regrettably, it is going to cost people their lives and others it will cost the quality of life,” she said. (MM)