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Duguid: QEH funds being wasted

The current administration continues to pump millions of dollars into the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, but the funds are being leaked and wasted by that health care institution and the Ministry of Health.

This wastage includes a shipment of gauze costing $250,000 from England, which an Opposition MP said “can’t be used, has been hidden, nobody can find it”.

Dr. William Duguid (File photo)

Dr. William Duguid of the Barbados Labour Party made this charge in the House of Assembly today as members debated a supplementary resolution related to the battle against HIV and AIDS.

About $4.8 million of that funding will be allocated to the Ministry of Health and health care institution’s like the QEH, but the Christ Church West representative questioned why the hospital was getting more money when, according to him, its procurement practices were unsatisfactory.

“I am concerned that we are having too much leakage and wastage of spending in the Ministry of Health and in particular the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, of which $4.8 million … will go,” he said.

Duguid said the QEH was “out there with a begging bowl asking for assistance to buy things” instead of managing its allocated funds properly.

“I am amazed and I am disappointed that the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and by extension the Ministry of Health, after coming and getting $4.8 million in this supplementary is out there asking the people of Barbados to give them sheets,” he stated.

“They are asking them to donate crutches, the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and by extension through the Ministry of Health … is out there asking the people of Barbados to donate commodes, to donate drip stands, to donate blood pressure cuffs.

“This is a hospital that gets $150 million a year … and counting. So what is happening with the money? Why is the hospital paying double for what the ambulance service is getting for half the price? Why is an overseas company with three employees only being allowed to profiteer on the backs of the people of Barbados and then causing the hospital, because it spent so much money in an overseas company, then to have to go with a begging bowl to ask for simple things in this country?” (SC)

One Response to Duguid: QEH funds being wasted

  1. Bajan Kelevra January 3, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    I actually don’t see how $150M BDS or $75M US could run any primary care institution. In the first place the plant alone is so old that undoubtedly much repair and maintenance is necessary to keep it just plain functioning. Secondly the fee structure or lack their of does not allow the institution to recoup money from many sources. Thirdly, Barbados having a population of only 300K is my no means nor will it ever be a price setter so it is a price taker and as such may not be able to trigger the economies of scale that would allow it to get preferential pricing.
    The notion that a hospital is seeking outside donations and sponsorship is nothing new. In the USA, St Judes Hospital for children, and most other Hospitals have departments and PR campaigns specifically aimed at soliciting funds to help supplement the cost of operations so this is nothing new or specific to the QEH. The bed sheets and other material items may be a tad bit of poor taste but closed mouths don’t get fed.
    In my view $150M Barbados is nothing to run a hospital with the mandate that the QEH has, further more I personally see the whole article as political hot air that sounds like a financial watch dogging is in play but in reality it is painting a half picture of what the true dynamics of this situation are. Truth is that the existing health care system in Barbados is antiquated and financially unsustainable and what is worse is the successive administrations appear clueless or unwilling to deal with it.


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