QEH aims for more regional patients

Authorities of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) are working towards getting more

patients from other Caribbean countries to seek treatment there as it seeks to increase

the financial viability of the facility.

This was revealed by Dr Dexter James, QEH’s chief executive officer, as he spoke

to the media after the launch of the hospital’s 50th anniversary celebrations, which was

held in the auditorium of the Martindale’s Road facility.

According to James, the hospital already had an annual traffic of patients coming from

countries, including in the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) but was

currently putting plans in place and implementing strategies to formalize arrangements.

“That is one of the innovative ways that we are going to expand not only our market

reach but also leverage the technical competence and human capacity that lies within the

QEH. We intend to develop two main centres of excellence within the resources

that we have which will be shared with the public in the not too distant future.

“That is a way that we can formalize our arrangements with our Caricom neighbors

for the flows of patients to come to the QEH in areas where we have the competency.

Of course we will not take those decisions at the expense of providing care to the

resident population,” he explained.

The CEO said that the QEH, which could be considered one of the best health care

facilities in the Caribbean, provided a comprehensive package of services to the public

of Barbados and with excellent outcomes.

He said the package covered most diseases and conditions from “the brain to the toe”

– neurology to foot care – with only a few medical conditions being referred overseas for

further treatment.

“A lot more marketing has to be done by going to the islands and speaking to

the Ministry of Health, speaking to the doctors in the countries to share with them

what we have prepared to offer and then we use that to leverage to certainly improve

our income.

“In spite of our many achievements, we face the challenge of having to do more with

less. Innovation must therefore be a key driver of sustainability within this context of

dwindling resources. We must not fear the future. We must embrace it,” he said. (AH)

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