Minister of Health, Donville Inniss, receiving a demonstration of how the Hyperbaric Chamber operates from Chief Petty Officer, Ryan Selby, during a tour of the Barbados Defence Force Headquarters at St. Ann’s Fort.

The preventative maintenance programme at the Barbados Defence Force (BDF) has come in for high praise from a government minister.

Minister of Health, Donville Inniss, made this announcement recently, during a tour of its Hyperbaric Chamber and Mass Casualty Facility. He also alluded to a closer collaboration between the BDF and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH), regarding the provision of health care services.

"From a policy perspective, there are many areas in which the Ministry of Health and the BDF can collaborate, certainly in respect of the use of the chamber. We recognise the challenges the BDF has in terms of staffing and the QEH can be encouraged to provide some kind of collaborative effort to ensure that the staff at the hospital are aware of what the BDF has to offer," Mr. Inniss underlined.

In turn, Chief of Staff of the BDF, Colonel Alvin Quintyne, said the organisation had the skills that could be utilised by the medical community. "The BDF works toward strategic ends … One of which is to support development; and this is something which we have not done in our 30 years and we need to play a greater part in uplifting the health of our people."

He further stated that use of the Hyperbaric Chamber, is costing the BDF, about $75 000 annually to operate.??

Given this situation, the Chief of Staff said the facility, which is the only one of its kind in operation in the Caribbean, provided the perfect opportunity for the QEH and the BDF to cooperate.

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