$900 000 In Rehabilitation Equipment Acquired

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Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, on a tour of the refurbished kitchens at the Geriatric Hospital. Conducting the tour is Senior Food Supervisor, Austin Yearwood. (A. Miller/BGIS)

The scale of physiotherapy, occupational therapy and podiatry in the polyclinics, geriatric and district hospitals, is on the cusp of a $900 000 transformation.

Word of this has come from Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, who disclosed that approval had already been granted for the acquisition of new equipment to address the rehabilitation needs of the elderly and the general population.

Speaking to a wide cross-section of health officials during the official opening of new kitchen facilities at the St. Michael Geriatric Hospital last Wednesday, the Prime Minister reasoned that the equipment was necessary in light of the latest statistics from the Chronic Disease Research Centre, which showed that 77 per cent of strokes and 74 per cent of amputations, occurred in persons 65 years and over.

"I must stress, however, that this equipment will not only address the rehabilitation needs of the elderly, but will also assist persons in the general population, who might have a need for therapy as a result of accidents or some other misfortune," Mr. Stuart remarked.

He also articulated the need for a collaborative effort in the care of the elderly and disclosed plans for the establishment of a Non-Governmental Organistion (NGO) desk to assist government in this regard.

"This desk will provide guidance and facilitation to NGO’s which are seeking to complement the work of government not only in relation to the elderly, but in the attainment of objectives enunciated for the entire health portfolio," Mr. Stuart emphasised.

jwilson@barbados.gov.bb

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