Acting Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Elizabeth Ferdinand. (FP)??

In order to improve efficiency, the Ministry of Health has begun to implement a new model for the commissioning of services, as the new way of doing business.?? The new system is designed to better regulate its approach to health service management.

Acting Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Elizabeth Ferdinand, shared this information recently while speaking at the 32nd Annual Convention of the Caribbean Association of Pharmacists in Association with the Barbados Pharmaceutical Association at Hilton Barbados.??

The senior health official stated that under this new model, providers would have to become more accountable for the services they offered and activity levels and performance standards would be specified in service level agreements and contracts. Payments would be linked to those performance standards and activity levels.

"Increasingly, private sector organisations are being contracted by the Ministry to provide particular services whenever the evidence indicates that it is right to do so.?? We have entered into such arrangements with the Barbados Heart and Stroke Foundation, the Diabetes Foundation and the Chronic Disease Research Centre. The Ministry of Health’s Debushing Programme has seen a 300 per cent improvement in efficiency since this new arrangement was started," Dr. Ferdinand added.

She urged the Caribbean Association of Pharmacists and various national pharmaceutical associations to encourage their members to also be professional in all aspects of health care so that they too could be held liable for the services they offered.??

"As health care professionals, pharmacists play an important role in improving access to health care and in closing the gap between the potential benefit of medicines and the actual value realised.?? In addition, the increasingly complex and diverse nature of pharmacists’ roles in the health care system demands a continuous maintenance and updating of their competency skills," she said.?? Dr. Ferdinand urged national pharmacy professional associations to collaborate with their governing bodies and other health care professional associations to support pharmacists through [the] provision of continuing professional development activities and the establishment of national standards of pharmacy practice."

The Acting CMO also took the opportunity to thank the Barbados Drug Service, the public sector agency responsible for Government’s pharmaceutical programme, for the pivotal role it had played in the development of the Barbados National Pharmaceutical Policy, which it is hoped, would be approved by Cabinet soon.?? The policy will cover both the public and private sectors and involves all the main actors in the pharmaceutical field.?? It expresses and prioritises the medium to long-term goals set by the Government for the pharmaceutical sector and identifies the main strategies for

attaining these goals, and provides a framework within which the activities may be coordinated.

"The programme includes the involvement of the private sector in the procurement, storage and distribution of pharmaceuticals to all public and private pharmacies.?? It is a commitment to a goal and a guide for action…This policy falls in line with the Caribbean Pharmaceutical Policy which was developed based on the framework of the Caribbean Cooperation in Health III, which seeks to provide guidance to countries in defining the goals of equitable access, provision of effective medicines, and the promotion of a therapeutically sound and cost effective use of medicines by health professionals and consumers," the Acting CMO underlined.


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