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24-hour services needed

1/2/2013

By Janelle Riley-Thornhill

Head of a local non-governmental organisation says that he would like to see this country advance to the stage where it operates a 24-hour services sector, inclusive of health care services.

Executive Director of the Barbados Family Planning Association (BFPA), George Griffith, made the comments as he indicated to The Barbados Advocate recently that the BFPA is actively considering extending their hours of work.

Griffith explained that thought is being given to opening their clinic on Sundays, considering that there are a number of people who work during the week and are unable to seek medical treatment during traditional working hours. He is hoping that if they do go this route, it would encourage more men in particular to look after their health.

“We do not want to stop people from going to church, but there are people who have to work during the week and cannot get to the doctor. There is a failure to accept that people have different needs – those who want to go to church will go to church; those who want to go shopping will go shopping; and there are people who can do both,” he said.

Griffith added, “I think that if Barbados was to open up more – yes, the unions would have to have their say, to make sure the rights of the workers are protected – but the opportunities are endless.”

The BPFA official said that there is no doubt that health care needs to operate on a 24-hour basis in this country, and not only at the Accident and Emergency Department of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. In fact, he argued that the time has come for some polyclinics, particularly those that receive a large number of patients, to move in this direction.

“This also allows persons who may not necessarily be classified as emergencies, but require medical treatment of some kind, to be able to access it as is needed,” Griffith said.

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