We cannot afford a new hospital – Sir Henry

Barbados does not need another “castle in the air”, says Former Dean of the Faculty of Medical Sciences of the University of the West Indies Sir Henry Fraser, as he dismissed Government’s proposal to construct a new hospital.

“What we do not need is a new hospital,” he told executives and supporters of the ruling Democratic Labour Party, including Acting Prime Minister Richard Sealy, at a lecture organized by the party at Almond Bay, Hastings, Christ Church last evening.

Sir Henry argued that the country could not afford a new hospital, given the prohibitive costs involved.

Citing a report done ten years ago by leading hospital developers, he said a new state-of-the-art block and restoration of the QEH would cost about $500 million while a new hospital would cost almost $890 million.

“We can’t afford it,” he stressed.

Back in May, Minister of Health John Boyce said a new hospital was still on the table and the search was continuing for an ideal location.

“We need to come to a final strategic position in respect to the location of new hospital and all the facilities associated with a new hospital,” he told reporters after the handing over ceremony of two new ambulances at the QEH.

However Sir Henry advised that repairing the QEH was the better and cheaper option.

“It does need repair and it does need a modern block, because with a new state-of-the-art-modern block you get the state-of-the-art stuff you want and then you use that upon completion to move the patients wing by wing and repair the hospital. It is a no brainer,” Sir Henry advised as he spoke on the topic, Health Care Delivery, Chronic Disease and Barbados of the Future.

But insisting that weaknesses at the island’s main medical facility were not merely the building, he urged authorities to focus on curing a range of recurring disorders.

“Our problem at the hospital has always been . . . lack of staff; it is a problem of up and down morale, it has been a problem with equipment, and in recent times a problem of shortages. So let us acknowledge the facts and do what is needed rather than build castles in the air,” he said.

The Professor Emeritus urged Government to increase the annual budget for the QEH, contending it had been underfunded by at least $200 million in the last two decades.

Sir Henry also proposed the introduction of a health levy to help fund escalating health care costs.

“The only short-term solution is the proposal from so many people for a health levy, each according to income and separate from the National Insurance Scheme. This would provide a more equitable solution for the majority than we have at present and help us to achieve that goal of equity.”

On the other hand, Sir Henry, an Independent Senator, called on Government to construct a state-of-the-art private tourism medical hospital at site of the old St Joseph hospital in St Peter.

Pointing out that the project went to tender more than six years ago by Invest Barbados, he questioned the delay, suggesting there was much demand for such a facility.

“It will be a win-win, not only for considerable income through medical care, but the branding of Barbados, the attendant hotel bookings. Everyone with a hotel within ten miles will benefit and there will be state-of-the-art facilities and specialized surgeons working together with our health care team. That will also save us a fortune in the medical aid scheme the Government can no longer afford, and in overseas referrals and travel for specialist care by the filthy rich,” he said. 

12 Responses to We cannot afford a new hospital – Sir Henry

  1. Carolyn Robertson
    Carolyn Robertson July 1, 2016 at 9:52 am

    we don’t need most things that why the fire station at the airport operate with out a water tender so if fire happen close in the area we have to wait on a tender from Worthing are Bridgetown sad to see we are still living in such and era

    • Steven Layne
      Steven Layne July 1, 2016 at 10:20 am

      B,dos international port need to show the world what they have , but not for local use.

    • Carolyn Robertson
      Carolyn Robertson July 1, 2016 at 10:21 am

      Thumbs up to that

  2. Ras Small
    Ras Small July 1, 2016 at 11:17 am

    Better foods!!! Agriculture comes first. No more GMO’s!!! Equates to more healthier citizens, less hospitals, fewer exorbitant bills, fewer dis-eases and less doctors.

  3. Kimberly Simmonds
    Kimberly Simmonds July 1, 2016 at 12:09 pm

    Barbados need to take care of what they have.. when we getting something new we do not take care of it .. that hospital should never look like that.. ya get the oval and look at the stadium..

  4. Sunshine Sunny Shine July 1, 2016 at 1:47 pm

    We cannot even run the old one and want a new one. In fact, we can hardly run anything proper that we built. The best record Barbados has kept unspoilt and without blemish is its poor maintenance record. Spend the darn money refurbishing the old. What new hospital what!

  5. jrsmith July 1, 2016 at 2:03 pm

    500 millions to refurbish the old and 890 millions for a new one..is this tendering this a lot of money.. lets get some figures this don’t sound right lets hear from the private sector to look at (PBF) private business funding..

    In the (UK) our government want to have a look at a state of the art hospital which is bigger than our old QE , this was privately funded was built at a cost of 55 millions pounds…this hospital can be seen at , (ST, Georges Hospital) Tooting in London…namely so Atkinson Morley Wing…

  6. Ivana Cardinale July 1, 2016 at 2:04 pm

    If a disease doesn’t kill you, the medical negligence at the QEH will. Last night, the girlfriend of a friend of mine died at the QEH of Toxoplasmosis, a treatable disease. Did you read it: A TREATABLE DISEASE. This deserves an investigation. A single hospital can not keep up with the actual population of one country and the government says that can’t afford another hospital. I just pray I don’t get sick

  7. junior July 1, 2016 at 6:43 pm

    I disagree with Prof Fraser. If we would stop dipping into the NIS funds; stop giving those hotels all those concessions; stop borrowing to build hotels , we would be in a better position. Look, we can borrow money to build a new factory and we aint planting any canes.we building more svchools for what?
    Adequately maintain the hospital with funds just like how you gave Sandals.

  8. Alex Alleyne July 1, 2016 at 8:16 pm

    Something has taken to the good ole’ gentleman’s brain. He usually be on the ball with most things bot he dropped it this time.
    “we can’t afford it”, most things BDS can’t afford but we get it any which way”.

  9. dave July 3, 2016 at 12:21 pm

    Biggest Bunch of Jokers to run a Country anywhere in the world. They just want the perks ; pensions; per diems and positions but they have no ideas to advance this country further along a growth path of development.

    JOKERS !!!

  10. Sheron Inniss July 3, 2016 at 10:48 pm

    What this island needs is not a new hospital but doctors who are honest enough to say that those good old time remedies do work if used correctly. Some of them use these same things but would have the average man on the street think differently. Also I have been reading a book co-authored by a doctor about the need for a healthy Ph balance if your body is to function properly. Do we hear about such from our physicians? Of course not; they seem to abhor research or keeping up to date on what is happening all around the world. For example I have learnt from another book that balancing high and low glycemic foods can reduce the diabetes problems facing Barbados. Of course the pharmaceutical companies would not like this. This would also impact the livelihood of doctors and by extension pharmacists. I have learnt the hard way that it is in my best interest to do the research as I have lost confidence in most of them over time. Kudos to Dr David Corbin; one of the few I hold in high esteem.


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