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Make it work

Barbados does not need a new hospital.
That was the assessment by Independent Senator Professor Henry Fraser, as he lent his years of experience in the medical profession to the Freundel Stuart administration today in the Senate while speaking on a Government guarantee for $25 million for the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
Pointing out that all over the world hospitals of considerable age were refurbished, expanded, restored and served extremely well, the senator therefore summised that a new hospital was not necessary.
Fraser, who is a retired medical practitioner pointed out that the QEH had cost the Government of the day $8 million, while a mere study for a new hospital would cost $15 million today.
“Captain Tomlin who was the architect who drew the plan for the Queen Elizabeth Hospital told me it was designed to last 100 years. Now, interestingly, if you do not maintain a building it gets into trouble. Our mothers always told us that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, but we have not taken the trouble since the oil crisis of the early 1970s to spend any money in prevention.
“The maintenance of the QEH is the main trouble. The external walls of the QEH are solid. There is some deterioration in the windows, doors and finishings. We have plenty of information which indicate that the foundation of a building is sound, even if you have to replace the roof, you can do it at two thirds the cost of a new building,” he posited.
“I want to give credit to the creativity and the design of Captain Tomlin. Soundings were done of the land, and the hospital’s elongated shape with a twist or two was designed to sit on the stone that sits there because if you go into other places like right over by the playing field you get into swampland where you would need 60 or 70-foot piles. So the hospital design is a convenient building designed to fit the geology. Secondly it was designed north/south so that the breeze flows right across the wards, so that you do not need
airconditioning in the wards,” Fraser added.
The independent senator recalled that the late Prime Minister David Thompson had stated repeatedly that since from planning to completion of a new hospital would take ten years, Barbados had to make the QEH work.
“I have to make the point that the issues have to be looked at rationally and not as a political football. We have had four ministers in five years, and we have had four statements about the hospital being replaced by a brand new hospital, but let us look at the issue of cost. When I was chairman of the Tourism Advisory Council, the big discussion then was what to do with the Hilton because we wanted to upgrade the Hilton. Well quite a lot of money was spent creating new designs for a new Hilton block. So that the Barbados Hilton would follow the model of Hiltons in New York and Chicago where the 1960s building will be refurbished, but supplemented by a modern tower block with larger rooms that the BTA president and vice-president wanted.
“A Coopers & Lybrand Miami feasibility study pointed out that building a brand new building would cost $68 million  and that refurbishing and building a tower block they claimed would be $78 million. But the point was they said that $68 million would be the cost of a brand new Hilton. I have heard no published figures about final cost for the new Hilton, but the consensus of the final figure was $180 million.
“Well the recommendation which was put forward to Dr Jerome Walcott when he was Minister of Health was that a new block to the north of the hospital and refurbishing of the majority of the old hospital would cost $480 million and a new square block which will be built right across Martindales Road would cost $680 million and a new hospital would cost $880 million,” Fraser added.

9 Responses to Make it work

  1. Angel OfThunder
    Angel OfThunder December 24, 2013 at 7:53 pm

    The conditions of that please is not healthy to start with,what if we have an emergency u must have a plan A+B+C its people’s lives we are talking about here with out good health all the money in the world couldn’t save u if u have bad health,this is the first most important thing in life is health,an if u don’t see the need to improve health care in Barbados then u sir is blind an don’t see the real problems in this country…

  2. Angel OfThunder
    Angel OfThunder December 24, 2013 at 8:06 pm

    An what gets me upsetting is these people know how important the leading Countrys take they health care,health care is the heart of a Nation,some may not be rich but like others but with good health it makes u feel as doe ur a millionaire knowing u have great health,makes u appreciate life the more,cause sicknesses will rob u of happiness…

  3. Steve Jemmott
    Steve Jemmott December 24, 2013 at 8:39 pm

    now, some sensible ideas has emerged! throwing money or a new hospital will not solve the problem…..the administering of health care is!!!! we need to truly do a survey of the QEH and see the needs to upgrade. Some enthusiastic “engineer” put a humongous sum and we end up as we are now., no public discourse at all!

  4. Steve Jemmott
    Steve Jemmott December 24, 2013 at 8:42 pm

    this argument is like saying “we ensure a new polyclinic is built in all the parishes and health care will improve!……do that and i’ll show you a clown!…lol

  5. Steve Jemmott
    Steve Jemmott December 24, 2013 at 8:45 pm

    what is emerging is the proliferation of legal challenges , which will alter the cost of the delivery, insurance has to change for the better, otherwise we will have good administration but no patients who can afford it too!

  6. Steve Jemmott
    Steve Jemmott December 24, 2013 at 8:58 pm

    One must not fail to observe these two differences ; health care and health facilities, this only breeds anger, confusion, bigotry and obscurantism of the kind .They are two dissimilar issues in this argument.

  7. Gina-Ann Trotman
    Gina-Ann Trotman December 25, 2013 at 2:35 am

    Yes cause when you ready you can afford to go pay for private care

  8. Jason Bowen
    Jason Bowen December 25, 2013 at 2:37 am

    The issue is not limited to providing the best possible health care in all conditions. The current hospital is in an area where if a significant tsunami or storm surge occurred would cripple the hospital and health care in Barbados. Also was the hospital designed to withstand earthquakes. Sadly a few years back we discovered that Barbados can impacted by earthquakes.

    So my question is building a new hospital in an area which is less susceptible to tsunami and strong surges as well as designed to handle earthquakes not worth it. Should we spend hundreds of millions of dollars to upgrade the existing hospital which may not be located in the best location or do we spend a little more to provide the best alround care in any circumstance?

  9. Renny Johnson
    Renny Johnson December 25, 2013 at 7:32 am

    If it aint broke, don’t fix it. The building is fine, the staff need some manners and a make over. Bajans say NO to Politicians taking backhanders from developers


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