Health Minister John Boyce said today that the Ministry of Health was transitioning from the main role of healthcare provider to that of regulator of health services.

As a result, he explained, the Ministry had been assigning the provision of health care services through partnership agreements with the private sector and non-governmental agencies.

Services being provided under this arrangement included long-term geriatric care, substance dependency treatment, diabetic specialist care and cardiac rehabilitative care.

Speaking at the E.R. Walrond Scientific Symposium, held in the auditorium of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Minister Boyce commended the ???dedicated and committed researchers??? who would be presenting papers.

He noted: ???Research is a critical determinant for growth in any institution and especially in the health care setting where the emergence of new diseases makes it mandatory for new treatment regimes to be developed.???

He added that given the changing trends and lifestyles, new approaches to treating patients had to be implemented which were in keeping with ???our fast-paced, technologically driven society???.

The Ministry of Health was therefore committed to continue partnering with organisers and researchers to allow research to help effectively shape policies and improve efficiencies in the public and private health care system, Mr. Boyce said.

The Health Minister praised the contribution of Sir Errol Walrond, in whose honour the symposium was held, for his service to the Barbados Medical Council.

Sir Errol recently resigned as chairman of the Council and Minister Boyce noted that during his stewardship, the Council had transitioned to an almost full-time professional office which ???ensures that only the highest internationally accepted practices are applied to the practice of medicine in Barbados???.

He also acknowledged the contribution to the Council of the late Vallan Franklin and thanked all Council members for their dedicated service.

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