Minister of Health, John Boyce, and Israeli Ambassador to Barbados, Mordehai Bivas, discussed a number of ways in which Barbados could benefit from Israeli expertise in respect of public health, during a courtesy call at the Ministry of Health today.

One area proposed by the Ambassador was training for doctors and nurses working with dialysis patients.

The Ambassador said a similar programme had been ongoing in Guyana for several years, where doctors and nurses either went to Israel for training or benefited from the expertise of visiting Israeli medical professionals.

Mr. Boyce said that Barbados would particularly welcome the training in peritoneal dialysis, which would allow for a greater number of dialysis patients to be treated at home and monitored by health professionals.

Acting Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Kenneth George, noted that currently, there were only 12 patients on peritoneal dialysis, while another 260 patients were on hemodialysis at the QEH and private clinics.

The Health Minister said that Barbados would also welcome assistance with increasing the number of dialysis machines in the public health system, since the current equipment was in constant use.

The Ambassador informed Ministry officials that his Government was offering 25 scholarships to Caribbean and Pacific countries over a five-year period for applicants interested in pursuing a Master???s Programme in Public Health.

Minister Boyce welcomed this initiative, and further urged the Ambassador to explore the possibility of offering one-year internships for graduating doctors in rotations of general medicine, surgery, obstetrics/gynaecology and paediatrics.

Ambassador Bivas, who is based in New York, promised to follow up on all the matters discussed and looked forward to working closely with health officials in Barbados, as well as the rest of the region.

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