Research Critical To Health Care Service

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Minister of Health, Donville Inniss??

Research continues to be touted as an important plank in health care delivery.

Minister of Health, Donville Inniss, hailed the benefits of research today as he addressed the start of the 10th Annual Professor E. R. Walrond Scientific Symposium at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH).

He said: "As the Ministry of Health and the QEH work assiduously towards improving on quality care in all aspects of health care delivery, the importance of thorough research becomes even more crucial in our endeavours."

And, he noted that the World Health Organisation (WHO) also perceived research as critical to economic development and global health security.?? "WHO member states have been jointly charged with the responsibility of utilising research and audit in achieving health related development goals and to improve health outcomes in the face of current and emerging health threats posed by pandemics, chronic diseases and fragile health systems," said Mr. Inniss stated.

It was also pointed out that research was "a very critical determinant for growth in any institution" including health care settings, "where new diseases were emerging". "Therefore, new treatment regimes have to be developed and of course given changing trends and lifestyles, new approaches to treating patients have to be implemented, which are in keeping with our fast-paced, technologically driven society," the Minister stressed.

Presenters at the symposium, which recognises the contribution of Professor Walrond to medicine and the community, were also told to make use of clinical audit, (which involves reviewing the delivery of health care to ensure that best practice was being implemented) was paramount to medical care.

They were reminded too that research and audit are as inseparable as they are vital to the delivery of quality health care. The Health Minister added: "There is a cyclical relation between research and clinical audit which must be operated in tandem for best results to be achieved. This process must of necessity be ongoing, because if exploited to its full potential, the result of one audit could very well inform a new research, therefore, in the same or a related field."

While maintaining that their research endeavours would inform and characterise the ongoing audit process, he implored the presenters to do more research and "to make the audit and peer review of all major clinical disciplines the cornerstone to the development of a sound monitoring and evaluation system."

Mr. Inniss declared: "Traditionally we have looked to regional and international institutions to be leaders in clinical research but research should start at home. Research which is initiated within our community is culturally relevant and sensitive to our particular needs which will be different to those of another country.??

"That is why this symposium must be maintained and supported at all levels; we must seek to innovate, develop and implement what is ours, instead of always importing foreign ideas and processes and then adapting them to suit our specifications." jgill@barbados.gov.bb

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