High bill for kidney patients
The Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) is spending about $14 million every year to keep 236 kidney patients alive.
That disclosure from chief executive officer of the QEH, Dr Dexter James, who said the situation was putting pressure on hospital finances.
Speaking this morning at the second QEH Health Care Financing Conference at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, the hospital boss said that the number of kidney patients had increased substantially over the last 35 years.
In 1979, there were three patients on hemodialysis. That figure has risen to more than 224 this year.
Although admitting that it was a costly service, James said discontinuing it would be catastrophic.
Meantime, the CEO also reported that the hospital only had $190 million to sustain its minimum package of services and that did not include the planned replacement of capital items.
In his address to the conference, Acting Minister of Health Donville Inniss cautioned that Government could not provide all the resources for health care.
“The state has to define the basket of services it can and will provide to Barbadians,” he said.
However, Inniss pledged the Freundel Stuart administration’s continued commitment to doing all it could to sustain health care.