The Ministry of Health and Wellness intends to reach out to corporate Barbados for assistance in refurbishing district hospitals and polyclinics located in areas where companies do business.
Minister of Health and Wellness, Lt. Col. Jeffrey Bostic, said that following a successful collaboration between the ministry, the Barbados Defence Force and a number of private sector organizations to refurbish a ward at the Geriatric Hospital, government was interested in expanding this initiative.
“Recognizing that we do not have all the financial resources, as Minister of Health and Wellness I made the determination that we are going to attempt to address the issue across the country with the polyclinics and district hospitals.
“What we are going to be doing is to build on what we started at the Geriatric Hospital, but this time we are going to be asking corporate Barbados to contribute towards the facilities that are located within the areas where they are doing business and also ask Barbadians to contribute time and skills to help us get these things resolved,” he stated.
Minister Bostic said health had also been identified as one of the priority areas to which Barbadians in the diaspora, who will be returning home for We Gatherin’ next year, will be asked to contribute.
Meanwhile, Barbados’ aging population continues to present a challenge to government in terms of the availability of institutionalized care.
The minister said the number of people seeking placement in district hospitals was way above the capacity, and even with the Alternative Care of the Elderly programme, where government funded private health care for 220 persons, there were still not enough places.
This was an issue which was high on the ministry’s agenda, he said, and a number of useful ideas were being examined to tackle the problem.
These include the expansion of the community programme which would allow the elderly to remain in their homes and communities being cared for by persons trained in the care of the elderly. The minister maintained: “We believe that it is important to try to keep people within communities where they are familiar with the people and the environment.”