Minister of Health, Donville Inniss????

Health Minister, Donville Inniss has expressed concern about the number of vehicular accidents on this island’s roads and the resultant negative strain it is placing on healthcare institutions and families.

And, as a result, he has directed the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) to introduce a policy to make those responsible for causing the injuries pay the institution.

He was delivering remarks at the 6th Annual Lions and Leos’ Health Fair in Heroes Square, Bridgetown, to mark World Health Day 2010.?? Mr. Inniss expressed alarm that "in the space of 48 hours, this week we had to grapple with 51 injuries in just two accidents."

While he commended Emergency Response personnel for the "excellent work done, along with the nurses, doctors and other healthcare workers," he called on society to be more responsible and change its attitude.

The Health Minister said: "The fact that there were no deaths in these cases was a testimony to the skills of our workers…However, we have to be more responsible in this society and this attitude that you can drive without due care and consideration, because?? the innocent taxpayers will always foot the bill, must come to a screeching halt."

Minister Inniss added: "I have directed the QEH to move with a sense of urgency to institute a policy whereby victims of vehicular accidents who are treated in the QEH will be charged for all services rendered by the QEH.

"It is expected that those responsible for such accidents and their insurers will find this to be a fair policy and will not delay in settling such claims."

Noting that a similar policy for victims of violent crimes involving the attention of the Police was currently being fine tuned, he declared: "Let the message go forth, from here on that those who choose to be lawless and careless will have to start footing the bill for the healthcare of their victims. It is an untidy situation that I intend to correct as your Minister of Health."

Minister Inniss commended the Lions and Leos on the Annual Health Fair, and apologised to them for the delay in the official handing over of the Lions’ Eye Care Centre at the QEH. He pointed out that the formal signing ceremony would soon occur and that the ophthalmology Department of the QEH would return to that facility by year-end.

Disclosing that the QEH recently awarded the contracts for design and mechanical engineering in that building, he opined, it was regrettable that the Lions Club had invested large sums of money in the Centre and it had been kept shut for five years.

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