Maintaining QEH is no easy feat, says James

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) Dr Dexter James says it’s “no easy feat financially” to sustain the level and quality of services to the public.

“Our expenditure to meet the current level of service demands is in the vicinity of $190 million [but QEH has] a fixed annual budget of $145 million and rising healthcare costs,” James said.

Speaking at the QEH’s  53rd anniversary service at Mount of Praise Wesleyan Holiness Church, James implored policymakers to give urgent attention to revisiting a new model of healthcare financing, describing it as a “necessary imperative if Barbados is to sustain the health gains accrued over many years”.

He added that despite cutbacks, the hospital has been able to keep its doors open for business.

“We continue to see and treat 40,000 patients at our Accident and Emergency department, in spite of the spiralling admissions from injuries, from accidents and acts of violence; admitting 21,000 inpatients and follow-up in excess of 95,000 outpatients,” James said.

“We continue the daily struggle to mitigate stock-outs of essential drugs and supplies; maintain the plant in a good state of repair, and respond to the new public health normal of injuries from accidents and violence. These together with the need to find alternative financial resources to replace obsolete equipment and technology refresh, pose severe challenges to the Board and management,” he said.

James noted that it was just last December that the QEH reached the significant milestone of just under $12 million in philanthropic donations which he said served the hospital well.

“With the donation of $44,000 towards medical equipment by your church  [Mount of Praise Wesleyan Holiness Church] and contributions of individuals, the private sector, NGOs and the diaspora,  these funds were used to meet various capital improvement projects.

The QEH head said that currently, 25 per cent of Barbadian adults have at least one chronic disease and by 2025 one in three persons will be afflicted with a non- communicable disease.

Despite such an outlook in the health profile of the population, the CEO said QEH remains committed to sustaining the provision of world-class medical care to the population and region.

“We will continue to place our patients at the centre of all we do while preserving access to care – care that is available and affordable.” (KH)

16 Responses to Maintaining QEH is no easy feat, says James

  1. Alex Alleyne November 12, 2017 at 6:28 pm

    Sooner rather than later, all persons over the age of 18 and under the age of 65 must start paying BDS$1.00 per visit to all polyclinics. Or in the end it will be BDS$5.00 right off the bat for starters.
    Maybe “TAXLER” have his eyes on this one ……..stay tuned.

    • John Everatt November 12, 2017 at 9:34 pm

      I agree with this but think it should be 5 dollars. The amount of patients going through the polyclinics with nothing really wrong with them is astounding. They think that it is free but do not realize that someone – the tax payers – actually pays for it. This is a small fee but when you consider a private clinic costs far more than that it is cheap.

      • hcalndre November 12, 2017 at 10:59 pm

        @ John Everatt; are you saying that people go to the QEH and nothing is wrong with them? So as someone said that the doctor gives the person Paracetamol, what ever that is and send them home, and they die in a few hours time, and you are saying nothing is wrong with these people? so who is right here? you, the doctor or Ras?

  2. Ras November 12, 2017 at 7:49 pm

    Health care is at it’s worst

    You go to Accident and Emergency department after 12 am with chest pains, they give you Paracetamol and send you back home in four hours time you die from massive heart attack.

    Go to Polyclinic with excruciating pain, Doctor suspect kidney stone, send you QEH for Ultrasound they give you an appointment to get Ultrasound done in a years time. You can RH imagine that.

    If you want an Xray and can’t pay to get it done, boy yuh suck salts and hope fuh de best.

    You need to get an Operation done, appointment in a years time but if you have money same Doctor can do it next week.

    Diabetics take good care of yuh foot not it cut off as a first option when amputation should be a last resort

    Cancer patients in worst kind of pain they tell you the medication you need will have to be bought from Brydens, QEH don’t stock it as it is very expensive, so who can’t afford to buy it in Duck Guts
    Plus they say you going to die any how so why spend money on you spend the money on some one who will live

    And the Litany of QEH woes continue

  3. luther thorne November 12, 2017 at 8:39 pm

    Where these wimpy mampy pampy men come from ? Reminds me
    Reminds me of the cricketers nowadays. Complain bout pitch , the ball , the sun.

  4. Wesley bolden November 12, 2017 at 10:22 pm

    Get the degrees, get the job; then realise you never work or sweated before. Weak little men wearing big hats.

  5. archy perch November 13, 2017 at 3:48 am

    I remember when Dr. Jokey Walcott was Health Minister and in charge of the QEH….what a biggg mess it was.
    A big failure laid in his lap.
    We imported all kinds of so-called nurses to Barbados from Nigeria and the Philipines to help out. Improvements only came to the QEH when Donville Inniss as the new Health Minister took charge.
    Then we saw how Peter’s principle applied to Joke-Rome!
    Thank God he ain’t running for office again, but he could still get a pick if that “I have fooled wanna” BLP party grabs power.
    He could become Health Minister again (God forbid) as a Senator, That is scary!

  6. Sue Donym November 13, 2017 at 7:36 am

    Wasn’t the change to a Board at the QEH meant to tackle the difficult decisions and ensure that there were persons in place with a wide range of competencies?

    In Barbados, often the operation of state entities is hampered by square pegs in round holes or by the appropriate people not being allowed to function. If tried and tested is eschewed in favour of lofty-sounding ideas; if titles are more important than results, there’ll be no worthwhile outcome. Conversely, if the non-working systems are not replaced, still nothing.

    How long have they known that giving over 100 persons the same appointment time leads to frustration, congestion and inefficiency for patient and medical staff? How long has the records department been the cause of outpatient ire? Many stories are told of x-rays and other testing done, not by diagnostic priority but by ability to pay. Reports can be costly but extremely slow in production. And it’s an open secret about the stranglehold that the old boys network has on several aspects of operations.

    Not all problems stem from or can be corrected by financing. But pilferage and debt collection are important issues. The real solution is to admit the sources of problems and to make an honest attempt to rectify tackle them.

  7. Greengiant November 13, 2017 at 7:47 am

    @Ras: The real problem now is the accidents and violence for which no hospital can be prepared. The ones involved in the violence don’t even pay taxes except VAT. So the burden of their treatment is on the other tax payers.

    It’s appearing worse because for the first time the C E O is releasing figures to the public, but we’ve been battling chronic illnesses for decades. None of the two leading parties tackled it seriously until it reached crisis stage. They have a record of letting things slide once there’s no public outcry. That’s the problem with both B L P and D L P. They both need to go, regroup, retool, restructure, change their ideology and come again in about 10 – 15 years. Give Barbados a chance to breath.

  8. Alex Alleyne November 13, 2017 at 8:52 am

    @RAS, We have been fed for so long on a diet of freeness that most persons just cannot understand anything about moving FORWARD. PAYING give you some leverage in holding those persons accountable for shabby actions and will forced you to bring about a LAW SUIT.
    Just ask most people “how much you spend per month on cell phone calls , and when last you visit the Doctor for a routine checkup and what was the cost.?????????
    “Wah, nothin’ ain’t wrong wid me . so wah I gine waste money fuh”……….

  9. Lee November 13, 2017 at 9:50 am

    We will all end up needing one facility or another from a central hospital usually in the later stages of life. BARP’s medical insurance through ICBL used to cost insurers over $140.00 PER MONTH and the deductibles and conditions were merciless (no pre-existing illness; no cover over age 75, etc.) . Do the math: if 200,000 working adults in Barbados contributed FIFTY DOLLARS PER MONTH (the equivalent of $ 1.65 per day)) towards the provision of proper free services at the hospital (which also earned income from offering quality services to paying patients from other regional and extra-regional territories, she would not only be a viable alternative to avaricious insurance companies but also be the foundation of an extremely lucrative export industry – healthcare !! Your investment of $50 per month for 50 years would have cost you a total of $30,000, but does anyone think that the alternative of a single medical procedure in the US would cost much less ? Supporting QEH properly redounds so obviously to the benefit of all Bajan families !!!

  10. Helicopter(8P) November 13, 2017 at 10:52 am

    A realization of all expenses in the health and hospital industry can be a beneficial source of educating the Barbadian public on the cost expenses incurred when they abuse the highway laws and create auto mobile incidences which produce emergency hospitalization overwhelming costs along with health insurance expenses.

  11. Andrew W November 13, 2017 at 1:11 pm

    I now live in St. Vincent. Had to come to Barbados for retinal eye surgery which was done in the eye Operating Room (OR) at QEH. I was vey impressed with the institution’s standard of service including the high level of professionalism and skill of the Ophthalmologist / Retinal Specialist Mr. Sherwin Benskin and the efficiency of Admitting and OR staff. The great deal of work involved in maintaining both Hospital building and plant is quite evident. I do hope that CEO, Dr. Dexter James will take heart in the knowledge that the efforts of himself together with his administrative staff, despite the QEH’s management challenges are not unnoticed.
    I lived many years in Canada. Hospitals there depend
    heavily om charitable donations to finance operations and maintenance.
    As the CEO pointed out, hospital management is indeed a daunting task.

  12. Donild Trimp November 13, 2017 at 2:12 pm

    The QEH is a poorly run organization.

    Incompetent and lazy staff.

    I am qualified to make the above statements because I am speaking from personal experience.

  13. archy perch November 13, 2017 at 4:31 pm

    Well Donild your name says it all. LOL.
    A qualified arsecc

  14. Whitehill November 13, 2017 at 7:18 pm

    Why so many fools so many times assume we the people of Barbados are getting free medical care?
    Same fools think the schools are free too.


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