No QEH user fees, please!

A leading medical doctor has added her voice to the current debate about health care financing, suggesting that the introduction of user fees at the state-run Queen Elizabeth Hospital(QEH) would be the wrong economic medicine at this time.

Dr Chaynie Williams, head of the QEH’s Accident & Emergency Department (A&E), told participants in a town hall meeting here last night on Finding a Sustainable Solution to Health Care Financing she was also opposed to going the route of private insurance schemes, which would require individuals to finance their health care on their own.

However, her remedy for addressing the QEH’s financial ills would be the establishment of a national health insurance scheme that would allow for pooling of health care costs.

“As you may be aware, I am against fees for service or user fees at the island’s health facilities. I am also against private insurance schemes,” Dr Williams told the gathering.

However, she believes a national health insurance scheme would be “the best fit for the country”. In fact, Dr Williams went further to suggest that Barbados could partner with other Caribbean countries in implementing such a plan.

“Is a population of 300,000 enough to actually fund a national health insurance programme or would a handful of catastrophic illnesses bankrupt the programme?” she asked, while noting that “Trinidad and Tobago is 45 minutes away and other islands are less than an hour away.”

She also pointed out that other countries such as Canada and Australia had joint systems which used tele-medicine and air transport to allow patients who were hours away to access health care.

“If we can pool our resources on a regional level we can actually offer health care at a cheaper cost to our patients,” Dr Williams contended.

4 Responses to No QEH user fees, please!

  1. leroy February 25, 2016 at 6:33 am

    Can’t work,,every man for himself

  2. david gibbs February 25, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    Interesting suggestions by Dr. Willimams.,. I need however to see the maths .

  3. Panwallie February 25, 2016 at 12:34 pm

    I had a difficulty with one of my bosses, when every time I made a proposal, he would tell me it was tried way before my time and did not work. My thoughts were with modifications it might. He was set in stone and there was no getting around him.
    To the point: this seems not likely to succeed, but for other reasons like petty jealousy and leadership/management issues among Caribbean countries. After all, where is the Federation, and CARICOM and CSME and all the rest ?

  4. Chris Wright February 25, 2016 at 10:39 pm

    After almost 50 years and a decent health program has not been established one wonders what it will take for it to succeed if implemented. There have been many complaints of the service at QEH even as the administration try to improve the quality. This cost money and if the tight economy the island is going through cannot provide the service efficiently, something has to be done.
    Time to stop the foot dragging, it’s time for people to get their priorities in order and healthcare should be number one.


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