The Emergency Ambulance Service of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) has been bolstered with the addition of another unit, thanks to the generosity of the City of Milan, Italy.

At a brief ceremony today, witnessed by representatives of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Health, the Vice Consul of Italy, Paola Baldi, handed over the fully- equipped, custom-made ambulance to the Chief Executive Officer of the QEH, Winston Collymore.

Ms. Baldi said it was a “gift from the City of Milan to the people of Barbados” and noted that Barbados and Italy had enjoyed excellent relations over the years. She also thanked the Government for its support when Italy’s candidature was put forward for hosting Expo 2015.

Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs, Donville Inniss, said the ambulance would go a long way in assisting the hospital in the delivery of emergency services, and assured the envoy that it “would be put to good use”.  

While acknowledging that this was “only one of the few things we have worked on with Italy”, he added: “We are looking forward with great enthusiasm to Expo 2015, where Barbados will participate.”

Stating that the country was interested in working more closely with Italy in the areas of fashion design, furniture design and creative arts, Minister Inniss said Barbados would be sending a delegation to Milan in the not-too-distant future.

Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Irvine Best, said the new ambulance would “not only bolster the strength of our fleet, it will also contribute considerably to the efficiency and effectiveness of the service provided by the staff of the Emergency Ambulance Service”.

The US $60,000-dollar ambulance US $60,000, comes with better warning signs, including a louder siren that should help to improve the current response time.

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