On notice

QEH faces possible disruption in medical services

Barbadians have been put on notice for possible protest action by doctors at the state-run Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH), which threatens to disrupt the island’s health care service delivery.

The warning came tonight in the form of a terse statement issued by the Barbados Association of Medical Practitioners (BAMP) following a more than one hour long meeting with its members at the QEH auditorium to discuss ongoing shortages of basic supplies.

While the statement did not say exactly when or what form the protests would take, it was clear that the health care practitioners, who in the past have resorted to handling emergency cases only,  were not at all happy over the fact that promised funding by Government for the procurement of supplies had not been forthcoming amid ongoing discussions with the hospital’s administration and the Ministry of Health.

Lynda Williams
BAMP public relations officer, Lynda Williams

“The commitments in December 2014, to provide continuous funding for procurement of day-to-day supplies, have not been realized,” said BAMP public relations officer Lynda Williams, who read from a prepared statement.

While noting that there had been ongoing difficulty in providing optimum patient care, she said “our members have decided that BAMP must act in the best interest of the public to ensure that patient safety at the QEH is not compromised.”

However, she refused to entertain reporters’ questions on the statement.

When contacted tonight, both the Minister of Health John Boyce and the Chief Executive Officer of the QEH Dr Dexter James admitted that they were in the dark over the pending action by the medical personnel.

CEO of the QEH Dr Dexter James
CEO of the QEH Dr Dexter James

James said he would have to wait and see, while Boyce said he was not prepared to make any statement in the absence of official communication from the doctors.

However, the problems at the QEH are not at all new.

Last November, BAMP and the Junior Doctors Association announced that they would be treating emergency cases only because of an acute shortage of supplies at the island’s premier health care institution.

In December, the doctors again issued a warning to authorities about their intention to act, while warning that history must not be allowed to repeat itself at the QEH.

On that occasion, the health care practitioners further cautioned the authorities that they would “take measured and appropriate action in the public’s interest whenever the need arises”.

Earlier that month, the Ministry of Health published a statement in which it sought to assure the doctors that negotiations for a $25 million financial injection for the cash-strapped hospital were far advanced.

“These funds will be complemented by weekly transfers from the Treasury Department to the QEH to guarantee a continuous flow of service. It is anticipated that these measures will allow the QEH to meet its obligations on a timely basis and minimize any major inventory shortages in the future,” the statement said then.


12 Responses to On notice

  1. Glenn Damon Clarke
    Glenn Damon Clarke February 17, 2015 at 1:32 am

    It’s like we are warned not to get sick, and be extra extra careful when we leave home…shoot, don’t even leave your beds lol geez…

  2. Sherry Gittens
    Sherry Gittens February 17, 2015 at 3:19 am

    The only health care people I see that protest the most in this world

  3. Sharon Woolley
    Sharon Woolley February 17, 2015 at 4:45 am

    I thought Dr’s put patients first, obviously not

  4. Ralph White
    Ralph White February 17, 2015 at 4:49 am


  5. bajanguyster February 17, 2015 at 5:16 am

    you’re so true

  6. Harmony Channay
    Harmony Channay February 17, 2015 at 5:51 am

    Wait wait wait…. where in this can you even derive that doctors aren’t putting patients first? I swear that is why all the noise being made because patient care is compromised… anyway the nursing body needs to get on board as well

  7. Danielle Reid-Melillo
    Danielle Reid-Melillo February 17, 2015 at 7:17 am

    I think you all should be glad that the doctors actually care! Most countries in the caribbean don’t have supplies and they would admit you knowing that they have no meds etc. And you would just lie there and suffer when u could have gone somewhere else adequately equipped.

  8. Tracy Holdipp
    Tracy Holdipp February 17, 2015 at 7:18 am

    Doctors are people too, if they not happy with the way things hence the reason for they wanting to protest.. Only who sees it knows it.. Even with the doctors around patients are being deprived not because of the lack of care but because of the lack of materials to work with and medicines.. Enough is enough.

  9. Danielle Reid-Melillo
    Danielle Reid-Melillo February 17, 2015 at 7:20 am

    I don’t see why ppl are blaming the Doctors! We don’t perform magic, we need tools to work!

  10. Brian A. Harvey
    Brian A. Harvey February 17, 2015 at 9:17 am

    Anyone notice that successive administrations have neglected the health care system and the QEH? This is the manifestation of the way health is prioritized.
    The Bajan people were silent when the they rip down Kensington oval build it over at the cost of hundreds of millions while the hospital was falling down. They have expanded the highway while not putting money into the healthcare system. They have tried to inject money into the four seasons project while still not adequately funding or maintaining the hospital……. like BIM needs more hotels at this point.
    Healthcare has been treated as an after thought for a long time, it has just now reached an acute stage.
    I am not convinced that doctors taking any industrial action is going to be beneficial and encouraging nurses to join in sounds a bit counterproductive to me.

  11. Aldo February 17, 2015 at 10:12 am

    Are these guys serious what the ministry of health doing about this matter I mean government, hospital track record not the best now this action is going to really put it down the tube what is going to happen to emergency care,doctors please don,t leave those sick people hanging that need your services,shame shame on government

  12. Tony Waterman February 17, 2015 at 3:34 pm

    If Florence Nightingale had seen things the way BAMP is seeing it Re: Shortages, she would never have saved any Wounded Soldiers.
    Not that i am agreeing that they should be Shortages, but that’s the way things are Today.
    What about the **Hippocratic Oath** does it mean anything Today ?? or are these Doctors just ALL “”HYPOCRITES””

    **HYPOCRITE** a person who acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feelings


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