Prime Minister Freundel Stuart

The polyclinic system in Barbados is in for a major transformation, and the construction of the St. John Polyclinic model will be used as the prototype for its future direction.

Prime Minister Freundel Stuart affirmed this while addressing the re-launch of the St. John Polyclinic Project, at Glebe Land, last Saturday.

He noted that the resumption of the project, which had been abandoned as a result of tempestuous and turbulent economic times, marked a significant milestone for St. John residents, and "gives expression to their desire for improved health care facilities".????

When completed, Mr. Stuart said the ultra-modern $16.3 million health care centre, would boast, a 24-hour ambulance service, x-ray and ultrasound services, health and wellness centre, and a three-bed observation unit.

Apart from these facilities, it will also house the National Library Service, the Welfare Office and the St. John Constituency Council office, among others.

??"At this juncture, Government is committed to ensuring that the St. John polyclinic symbolises the best in primary health care delivery.?? As the newest polyclinic, it will, therefore, reflect the future direction of primary health care in Barbados.?? This polyclinic therefore, serves as a prototype of the polyclinic of the future, representing some elements of the social determinants that influence the health status," he outlined.????

Mr. Stuart reasoned that successive governments, mindful of the social role of health to the country’s development, had invested significant resources in the sector, despite competing social claims.

Given this expectation, Mr. Stuart revealed that 13 per cent of Government’s expenditure was allocated annually to the health services and he described the polyclinic system as the "lynchpin of Barbados’ primary health care system".

He further stated: "They [polyclinics] are the vehicles for bringing a wider range of health care services to the broader masses of the population in a consistent and sustainable manner."

While acknowledging the polyclinic’s role in the provision of low cost community health care, Mr. Stuart intimated that government was committed to strengthening this network which consisted of eight polyclinics and three satellite clinics.??

He said the incorporation of all the social services under one roof, would result in greater coordination of services to meet the ever growing needs of the population.

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