A plea was issued today for Barbadians to spend their dollars at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital instead of running overseas for treatments that can be had here, especially for children.
President of the A Gift For The Children Foundation, Shelly Ross, was at pains to point out this morning that the more people contributed to the upgrade of facilities in the Perinatal Intensive Care Unit of the hospital, the fewer children would be flown overseas for treatment.
In fact, Ross maintained that when Barbadians were asked to donate to overseas treatments, they needed to investigate further whether it was treatment that could be done here.
“One of the major areas of concern is that I’m tending to see a lot of people appealing to send sick children out of Barbados for assistance. When you take $250,000 and you give it to a Miami hospital or a European hospital, or another hospital to aid one sick child, when that assistance can be done in Barbados, when that treatment can be done in Barbados, that $250,000 given away can serve not just one child, it can serve a number of children from Barbados and around the region that come here for treatment.
“I think, and I am appealing to the public that when they get these requests for helping sick children, I think we should first contact the relevant persons at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital to see if these requests are bona fide, because that money should never leave Barbados when we need the money here.
“Why give our $250,000 to Miami? US hospitals don’t give our hospitals money to help one sick children. Why are we giving away our money when we need it? Whatever disease one sick child has, rest assured there are going to be others with that same sickness a few years later, or someone from the region that can come here for that help,” argued Ross.
She was speaking as her organisation made a donation to the PICU today, the second such donation to the hospital.
Although the charity has been in existence for only a year, Ross its members recognised the need to assist the PICU with training, equipment and other areas that could perhaps upgrade the services offered by the unit to children. This could, if others joined in, bring a halt to any need to seek outside medical help, particularly for children.
“I think equipping the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, equipping them to care for every child and not just one child is what we aim to do, and I am appealing to the public of Barbados to think about putting their monies where it can help hundreds of children instead of just one child.
“Of course we would like every child in Barbados to be cared for in the best possible manner. We want to see them grow into wonderful young men, healthy young men and women, but we don’t just want it for one child, we want it for every child. So instead of taking $250,000 or $50,000 and supporting a hospital out of our region, let us put it to our hospital, buy the necessary equipment, help with the necessary training, so that our children, regardless [can get assistance].
“I might be able to raise that $250,000 for my child, but tomorrow there might be another child that needs assistance and there is none for that child. If that money is taken and put in the PIC Unit, there would be assistance for many children,” the president maintained.
“That is what we are really concerned about. We are doing our part, and I am calling on the wider Barbados to do their part to make this really possible. We complain about the QEH, but rest assured there are people in the US who complain about their hospitals that they are sending people to as well. We don’t know that, but what we can clean up in our own backyard, let us do that first,” Ross pleaded. (LB)