Acting Health Minister, Donville Inniss, has lauded a private/public sector partnership in the health sector that is helping Government to contain costs and relieve pressure on the resources of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH).

SILS Dialysis Barbados at 3rd Avenue, Belleville, St. Michael, works in collaboration with the QEH to treat dialysis patients who cannot be accommodated at the public institution. The centre currently has 25 QEH-referred patients on its roster.

Mr. Inniss, while on tour of the facility on Thursday, said that the model has been so successful, that the Ministry of Health was actively considering expanding the relationship to increase the number of referrals, as well as supporting the centre???s efforts to establish a larger facility.

The Acting Health Minister noted, however, that the Ministry was not only focused on providing the best health care for dialysis patients, but also on addressing the root causes of chronic diseases. In this regard, he praised SILS??? holistic approach to caring for its patients, which included counselling in dietary and other lifestyle habits.

QEH Director, Dr. Dexter James, also praised the arrangement, which he said was in place for five years at a rate far lower than the QEH could currently treat dialysis patients in the hospital.

He disclosed that the QEH could not accommodate any more than the 176 dialysis patients on its roster, and therefore these partnerships were important in helping the hospital to cope with increasing numbers of patients seeking care.

Director and owner of SILS, Dr. Kurt Lambert, noted that under the arrangement, his company provided all the capital investment for equipment and machinery, and was providing a level of service which was greatly appreciated by its patients, according to the latest client satisfaction survey.

In addition to the QEH referrals, the facility also treats private patients from Barbados and the region. It has also developed a medical tourism niche, with just under 500 visitors to the island so far this year receiving dialysis treatment at the facility.??

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