Minister of Health John Boyce today welcomed plans for the construction of a hospice for palliative care services in Barbados.

Speaking at a ceremony to showcase the site at St. David???s, Christ Church, Minister Boyce lauded the Barbados Association for Cancer Advocacy (BACA) and the Living Water Community Inc. which have joined forces to spearhead the construction of the hospice.

He stated that the facility would strengthen the quality of service offered to Barbadians, noting that for patients with advanced progressive disease, palliative care offered the holistic management of pain and other distressing symptoms and embodied the provision of physical, psychological, social and spiritual support.

???The Ministry of Health has a long history of partnership with the private sector and non-governmental organisations for provision of quality health care and we reiterate our commitment to this national effort for the expansion of such approaches in Barbados,??? Mr. Boyce said.

The Health Minister noted that the need for palliative care services was usually recognised for the latter stages of cancer-related illnesses but people with non-cancer disorders such as HIV/AIDS and chronic auto immune disorders could also benefit from these interventions. He added that as the rate of non-communicable diseases continued to increase, the need for such services would also increase.

The Minister thanked BACA which has branches in the United States and Barbados for its ???unswerving dedication??? to advancing palliative care in Barbados.

???Barbadians at home and in the diaspora have shown tremendous willingness to contribute to the social and economic well-being of this country. You have demonstrated great commitment to this major initiative through your financial and technical generosity and I take this opportunity to once again thank you on behalf of the Government and people of Barbados.???

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