Health Ministry Debunks Health Care Criticism

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The Ministry of Health has made it clear that all Barbadians have access to a tax-funded public healthcare system which provides a range of primary, secondary and tertiary health care services.

Additionally, in many instances, these services extend to non-nationals resident here.

These assertions came from Senior Medical Officer, Dr. Arthur Phillips, today in response to newspaper reports that an American obstetrician-gynaecologist on the television show Married to Medicine, had stated that medical care and resources were not readily available to everyone on the island.

“Unfortunately the information that they chose to convey about quality and access to care is not consistent with our own evaluation nor with that of external agencies,” Dr. Phillips maintained.

He pointed out that indicators such as life expectancy, maternal mortality and neonatal mortality spoke to the quality of health in Barbados.

He further noted that the United Kingdom clinic comparison website, Clinic Compare, which rates medical services through the lens of urgent care for UK nationals should they become ill while overseas, lists Barbados as “one of the best places for health care in the world”.

“They looked at care provided in 144 countries by cross-referencing data, including competency of hospital staff, latest equipment, waiting times, cost to satisfaction ratio, convenience of medical centres and the number of doctors available to the population.

“Barbados was one of two non-European countries to make the top 10,” the health professional disclosed.

Since 2010, Barbados also joined the ranks of “developed” nations, according to the United Nations Human Development Index (HDI).

The HDI, now in its 20th year, measures performances in health, education, income and other quality of life indices. Dr. Phillips observed that Barbados’ HDI ranking was reflective of high quality of life indices, adding that the island invested more per capita in the provision of health care for individuals than “such rich countries as Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Libya, Kuwait and Algeria”.

The Ministry of Health official concluded: “I would have to assume that the producers and staff of Married to Medicine were misinformed about the quality, range and access to health care in Barbados.”

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