L – r) Director of the Sparman Clinic, Cardiologist, Dr. Alfred Sparman; Minister of Health, Donville Inniss, his wife, Gail Inniss and the Minister’s Personal Assistant, Cindy Downes at the start of the official opening of the $20 million facility for cardiac care located at No. 4, 6th Avenue Belleville St. Michael.????????

The much needed equipment upgrades and institutional strengthening, which form part of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital’s (QEH) recapitalisation project, have begun.

This was revealed recently by Minister of Health, Donville Inniss, as he addressed the official opening of the Sparman Clinic, a 24-hour state-of-the-Art facility, located at No. 4, 6th Avenue Belleville.

Minister Inniss said: "It is my … opinion that the QEH should have the best equipment and staff on the island. And, I mean equipment that functions. We also are working to ensure adequate availability of specialists as well, both to attend to patients and to teach our medical students."

Noting that the QEH’s recapitalisation project would also help to improve customer service, patient care and overall management, he disclosed that $5.2 million been allocated towards "getting a cardiac suite in place at the QEH" as a matter of urgency.

Turning to the new Clinic, Mr. Inniss noted that it was a boost to Government’s thrust in Health and Wellness Tourism.

"It…increases the marketability of Barbados as a location of choice as it certainly adds to the wide range of services offered here. These are initiatives which we must explore. Of course, there is also the prospect of such facilities assisting with the training of future specialists in Barbados, an issue that will come to the fore as we introduce and administer the new Medical Registration Act and especially the Specialist Register," he added.

Mr. Inniss praised the Director of the Clinic, Cardiologist, Dr. Alfred Sparman and his staff for their "indelible contribution to the provision of alternative cardiovascular treatment and rehabilitative services in Barbados and the wider Caribbean region", and pointed out that cardiovascular diseases were the major cause of deaths in Barbados.

"According to the report of the Task Force on Cardiovascular Services of 2007, the burden of cardiovascular diseases collectively account for almost 42 percent of all mortality occurring in Barbados," Mr. Inniss indicated.

Dr. Sparman commended Government for concessions granted to the project and stated: "Rest assured the savings will be passed on to Barbadians and visitors. They will be exposed to some of the best cardiac care in the region when they use the services of the Sparman Clinic. Every aspect of its operations is computerised, including the dispensation of drugs and the clinic has a very advanced medical records system, which is unique to the region."

Agreeing that his Clinic would prove an asset to health tourism, the cardiologist said its objective was "to provide services for patients from the Caribbean, North America and beyond."

Dr. Sparman further assured Government that the clinic would be a strategic partner providing services to some public patients free of charge and in other cases at a greatly reduced rate. He also stressed that the opportunity existed for rotations in cardiology for interns at the QEH to be undertaken at the Clinic, and there would be a Sparman Foundation where indigent patients would receive funds for heart care.

First established in 2001, the Sparman Clinic gained recognition as the first clinic to perform angioplasty services. The new facility, which was constructed at about $20 million, houses among other things, a seven-bed unit including an Intensive Care Unit, a pharmacy, a catherisation laboratory and a cardiac rehabilitation area.????


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