Minister of Health, Donville Inniss (right), in conversation with (from left), Chief Petty Officer Ryan Selby and Chairman of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Guy Hewitt, during a recent tour of the Barbados Defence Force Headquarters, St. Ann’s Fort.

The Ministries of Health and Finance will meet "shortly" to discuss issues in the health sector, including the state of some of the physical plants, such as the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH).

Minister of Health, Donville Inniss, disclosed this recently during a press briefing at the Barbados Defence Force’s, St. Ann’s Fort, the Garrison, St. Michael headquarters.?? He was responding to a question from the media about a retreat held earlier this year with Ministry officials at Hilton Barbados, to discuss the way forward for the sector.

He said the collaborative efforts between the Ministries of Health and Finance would also be extended to other departments to address the issue of the physical plants within the health sector.

Mr. Inniss noted: "I am satisfied that we, in terms of the policymakers and the hospital board, are aware of the challenges.?? I am very pleased with the Chairman of the Board [Reverend Guy Hewitt] for instituting some recent measures that should stabilise the QEH as the country’s primary tertiary care facility."

While acknowledging that there were challenges with the QEH as was the case with other Ministry of Health buildings, he maintained that "we must not allow our desire to build a new hospital or new polyclinic to distract us from paying attention to the existing facilities".

Describing the situation as one which needed urgent attention, the Minister of Health pledged to not only effect improvements to the QEH plant, but to improve management practices there as well. "What is the sense of spending considerable money in building a new facility and then taking bad management practices or inferior equipment??? We have to improve things within the existing QEH," Mr. Inniss stressed.??

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