Prime Minister Freundel Stuart says Barbados has done remarkably well in keeping health care accessible, available and affordable, but the time has now come to reexamine how things are done in that area.

He expressed this view recently during a meeting at Ilaro Court with seven high-achieving students from the Department of Health Sciences at Coastal Carolina University in the United States of America (USA), who spent a week here learning about the island???s health care system.

Also present were faculty members Professor John Yannessa, Dr. Stephen Firsing and Dr. Fredanna M???cormack McGough.??

Mr. Stuart said that during the past six years, the western world had gone through some difficult times, and the challenges thrown up by the global financial crisis had made it necessary to revisit and focus on the financing of education and health care.

Stressing that health care costs were very intimidating, he pointed out that Barbadians were battling chronic non-communicable diseases and it had become necessary to educate the population so they could modify their lifestyles.The Prime Minister suggested that children should be made aware of health care issues from a young age.

???We have not paid enough attention to sensitising young people to health care issues over the years. We have to integrate that into our education system, from the primary level right through the system, explaining it so they understand,??? he stated.

Mr. Stuart said he was following very closely what had been happening in the United States, and the role of insurance companies in health care.??Professor Yannessa said the purpose of the one-week visit was to begin exploratory dialogue that might lead to a more in-depth relationship between Barbados and the University.

He added that they had visited a number of places, including the Diabetes Foundation and the Warrens [Eunice Gibson] Polyclinic , and had also met with the Minister of Health, John Boyce.

He stated that the students and their lecturers were amazed at Government???s provision of health services to citizens, especially since, in the USA, they almost always have to pay for services.??Dr. M???cormack McGough added that the students had enjoyed the visit tremendously, and said she was very impressed with how the health care system was managed in Barbados.

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