Minister of Health, Dr. David Estwick

Issues relating to quality in health care are being given priority status as the emphasis on health reform is brought to the fore.

This was revealed by Health Minister, Dr. David Estwick, who noted that “government is preparing to consult with stakeholders on a policy and strategy on quality in health care.”

He was speaking today at a seminar entitled “Strengthening Capacity and Competence-The Role of Laboratory Accreditation,” hosted by the Barbados Community College, CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality  (CROSQ) and the Barbados National Standards Institution (BNSI).

According to Dr. Estwick, “Barbados, like many developed countries, has made quality health care one of the leading health reform priorities.

Foremost among the factors underpinning this priority are: public demand for greater accountability from health care providers, higher expectations in terms of processes and outcomes associated with the delivery of personal care services, as well as community-based services and demand for better value for money.”

He explained that government was making a ‘timely and strategic response’ to the health care quality issues by repositioning the performance of health care services and institutions in keeping with relevant international accreditation standards.

Describing the staging of the Laboratory Accreditation Seminar as ‘very timely’ the Health Minister added that “the Government of Barbados is committed to accreditation for public medical laboratories. This commitment is demonstrated in a number of initiatives being undertaken… including the formation of a National Laboratory Advisory Committee.”

Dr. Estwick also pointed out that in view of the importance of the committee in leading the charge towards laboratory accreditation, the Ministry would be reviewing the National Advisory Committee’s structure with the objective of ensuring that it is provided with the support it needs to perform its mandate.

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