Mottley wants round the clock hospital service

Opposition Leader Mia Mottley wants the island’s only public general hospital to become a 24-hour facility, with at least two polyclinics opening during similar hours to support its operations.

As far as Mottley is concerned, every department in the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) should be effectively manned around the clock, and individuals should also be able to conduct certain transactions online, such as paying bills and completing forms.

In putting forward these suggestions as she addressed the 80th Awards Ceremony of the University of the West Indies (UWI)/Barbados Association of Medical Practitioners (BAMP), the Opposition Leader mentioned a recent personal experience.

“Last week Friday, I could not pay for my aunt to be admitted to the QEH because it was 4:15 p.m., not 4 p.m. So, instead they took a guarantee from me instead of a cheque,” she told the audience.

Mottley also pointed to the need for resources to operate at least two polyclinics for 24 hours, to ease the burden off “an overworked and too small Accident and Emergency Department at the QEH”.

“Minor surgery, basic X-rays and an Asthma Bay are needed to relieve the pressure on the A&E at the QEH. The polyclinics can continue to handle the brunt of managing the NCDs [non-communicable diseases] efficiently in the day, but their capacity must also be expanded by the leveraging of telemedicine,” she said.

The Barbados Labour Party (BLP) leader asserted that officials have a duty, in a challenging economic environment, to ensure that existing investments in the health sector are fully utilized.

“We have a duty to leverage technology where possible to broaden access to services. This is not breaking new ground, but broadening and perfecting what is currently happening, and doing it with a sense of urgency,” she said.

During her address, Mottley told medical practitioners that the time had come to decide on the future of the island’s premier health institution.

She said that for too long the QEH had been “a political football”, and recent efforts at reform had been largely cosmetic and ineffectual.

“We must also address frontally the drivers of cost. In other words, we must know what each service at the QEH costs if we are to appropriately finance the institution to deliver the core services required,” she said.

“We must be disciplined that where new specialized services are needed, we must acquire them through partnerships, with you recognizing each new service must be justified both in terms of clinical need and cost/benefit analysis.”

Mottley added that there could be no progress until the authorities addressed the organizational culture of the QEH, “and ensure that it takes into account empowerment of workers and departments, while holding them accountable for what they must deliver”.

“QEH leadership must have the skills to bring about increased productivity, clinical excellence and exceptional customer service … These are the heart of what really matters if we are to give Barbadians the best health care,” she added. 

4 Responses to Mottley wants round the clock hospital service

  1. ch November 22, 2016 at 4:27 am

    Stop the political gimmicks and bring the hard truth.
    Which IS that Barbadians have to pay some cost for their medical care- the “free-ness” cannot continue.
    The working poor of the professional middle-class is over-burdened with taxes which provide the ” free-ness” and it has to stop.
    Why should we pay to open polyclinics for 24 hours when polyclinics already treat asthma and minor emergencies during their working hours?
    Stop feeding the belief that we, the taxpayers are responsible for people’s lives 24/7.
    All adults should be employed to get some form of health insurance and put aside money for medical emergencies the same way they save for a Kadooment costume or pay their installments for Remy hair.
    So they can afford private care for minor emergencies outside of the clinic hours.
    The major emergencies belong in a properly functioning A&E department, not the polyclinic. So that is where the upgrade and expansion is a priority.
    What is also required is education of and co-operation from the Barbadian public on the correct use of our public healthcare facilities and what constitutes an ” emergency”.

  2. Alex Alleyne November 22, 2016 at 4:45 am

    Good idea, but as usual it will come at a “high cost” to the public. Collecting a “small fee” per visit will help at the polyclinics.
    Bajans will kick up a fuss over the fee as we get use to being feed on the freeness diet.
    It will take someone with a big bold heart and at the end of their political career.

  3. BaJan boy November 22, 2016 at 4:59 am

    @Alex Alleyne so Freundel should do it you mean? Both you and ch seem to think that only you two pay taxes. The health care at these institutions are a direct result of the taxes Bajans pay. You guys need to listen to a very progressive thinker who will be a very progressive and caring PM and stop being short sighted and partisan like the idiots Sherlock Holmes or Carson C Cadogan who only see DLP power and they stick in election mode for 5 years whilst the country suffers at their hands.

  4. Mrs totterdell December 3, 2016 at 5:19 am

    I visited your beautiful island a few weeks ago but unfortunately became ill and obviously had insurance but ended up at the qe2 hospital. Please try to bring about improvements to the conditions and culture at the hospital for the local people who need to use it


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