150 Million for Barbados Queen Elizabeth Hospital
The new Barbados government has announced plans to spend an extra 40 million dollars on improving the state-run Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) in the financial year starting April 1st, 2008.
In all a total of $150 million has been allocated to improving health care at the 44-year-old QEH.
Health Minister Dr. David Estwick told parliament that the extra money would be used to expand and upgrade the all-important Accident and Emergency Department, improve the cardiac unit, fix ailing equipment, employ more staff and update other crucial medical facilities.
The 600-bed QEH will also be looking for more doctors, nurses and nursing assistants.
“We intend to rationalize and create new categories of human resources to satisfy the demand for new services,” Dr. Estwick said.
“We are also committed to increase investment in training and development…” he added.
The Minister said there was a backlog of 500 people awaiting eye surgery and the Ophthalmology Department will be enhanced to deal with this situation.
The Queen Elizabeth Hospital is the largest health care institution in Barbados. It is one of the island’s two hospitals. The other is the smaller, privately owned Bayview Hospital.
The new Barbados government, led by Prime Minister David Thompson, has made the improvement of local health care one of its priorities in the current five-year term.
In addition to improving the performance of the QEH, the government has announced plans to expand the capability and opening hours of at least three of the numerous state-run day-time polyclinics, which provide first tier medical assistance in their individual locations.
Dr. Estwick said the upgrade is to equip the polyclinics with better diagnostic facilities. This move, the government explains, is to relieve some of the pressure on the main hospital.
The government has projected its 2008-2009 overall budget at $3.44 billion. Besides the $150M for the QEH, $75M is being allocated to the University of the West Indies (UWI), which has a campus in Barbados, and $80 million to the Barbados Tourism Authority (BTA), which spearheads overseas promotion of the industry.
March 25th, 2008