Construction Begins On Centre For Diabetes

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From left: Chairman of the Barbados Diabetes Foundation, Dr. Oscar Jordan; co-founders of the Maria Holder Memorial Trust, Chester Brewster and Christopher Hoder; Minsiter of Helath, Donville Inniss; Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, Christopher Sinckler; and Simone McConnie of the Barbados Diabetes Foundation, turn the sod at the ground-breaking ceremony. (C. Pitt/BGIS)??

The Government of Barbados has taken another step to ensure that specialist healthcare for persons with diabetes in Barbados is provided.

To this end, the Ministry of Health has partnered with the Diabetes Foundation of Barbados and Medicor Foundation, an international donor, to construct the Barbados Diabetes Centre, which will be located in Warrens, St. Michael adjacent to the Polyclinic.

Speaking at the ground-breaking ceremony held today, Minister of Health, Donville Inniss, noted that his Ministry was fully committed to the successful establishment of the Centre and had signed an agreement to purchase services when it becomes operational.

"Through this arrangement, the Ministry of Health has guaranteed the referral of a minimum number of patients to [the Centre] on an annual basis…?? Patients will be selected from among the most difficult to manage cases from the public primary care

system, specifically those with poor control, those with non-healing ulcers, those with vascular disease challenges and those with evidence of early kidney failure.

"In turn, the Centre will provide a structured programme which involves counselling, therapeutic education, quality care and management, and behaviour modification intervention…using state-of-the-art technologies [and] taking into consideration new trends and modalities for the management of diabetes," he explained.

The Health Minister also said that Government’s participation in this project would lead to significant long-term savings for the health sector in terms of delay or avoiding the onset of the severe complications of poorly managed diabetes.

"I am well aware that there are estimated to be over 17 per cent of persons over the age of 40 in Barbados living with diabetes…Specifically, costs to diabetes amount to almost two per cent of [the] Gross Domestic Product and this represents a total cost for diabetes in Barbados in excess of 75 million dollars per year…. These costs to both specific institutions and to the state are unsustainable and will continue to take a toll on our economy, if left unchecked," the Minister cautioned.

However, he reiterated his Ministry’s unswerving commitment to the provision of healthcare, noting that he would soon announce a new model for healthcare financing in Barbados for public discussion.

??It is estimated that the Diabetes Centre will be completed in a year’s time.??

kim.ramsay-moore@barbados.gov.bb??

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