The Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) yesterday re-opened its Medical Intensive Care Unit after a $5 million renovation.

The unit was renamed in honour of the medical practitioner who spearheaded its establishment 40 years ago, the late Sir Richard Haynes.

At a ceremony in the QEH Auditorium, Health Minister John Boyce thanked the private sector donors, Broadway to Barbados, World Bank HIV Fund, Rotary Club West and Lyn???s Walk For Life, for the $1.5 million contribution made by them.

He noted that as Barbados moved towards realistic dialogue on meeting health care costs, there was a part for everyone to play in making sure that the country maintained ???the extremely high standards which we have become so accustomed to and which we are so very proud of.???

Mr. Boyce stated: ???Health is the most basic of resources required for living, and without good health, people???s ability to learn, nurture their families, earn income and contribute to the advancement of their society is diminished.???

He submitted that no country in the world had the financial or technological capacity to treat its way out of non-communicable diseases, mental health, substance abuse or communicable diseases.

???It is for this reason that my Ministry is committed to address the social and environmental determinants of health upstream as opposed to facing an immense disease burden with the consequential high cost of treatment and rehabilitation,??? Mr. Boyce said.

Noting that efficient and equitable use of resources was an important factor to be considered in the context of universal health coverage, he disclosed that the Ministry???s strategy going forward will include the re-design of clinical services and the rationalisation of support services to improve economies of scale.

He also outlined plans for the strengthening of management structures to improve accountability, updated procurement practices and the aggressive introduction of private and public insurances in helping to meet the cost of health care.

In addition, there will be the increased utilisation of evidence-based practices to secure the best value for monies allocated to the health sector, the Minister revealed.

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