Partnership essential to health care Sector

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A local dentist is promoting the idea of a public/private sector partnership in the health care industry.
Dr. Victor Eastmond, Chairman of Caribbean Dental Program Inc, is confident that the formation of a private/public health partnership will ensure the widespread provision and distribution of services to all Barbadians. 
He said this should be pursued in collaboration with the representative associations in an effort to keep the cost of such care as low and affordable as possible. 
“When data on health is translated the private practitioners in Barbados earn less, but expend more. Such an environment leads the business model to market their services at a minimal profit margin to make it affordable to patients who are least able to afford, but the most in need…These persons can however access some services within the public primary care facilities, but from all reports the services are overloaded with demand, and therefore need much assistance from the private sector to relieve their congested waiting lists,” he said.
Raising concern about the impact duties and taxes charged on equipment imported by the private health care sector is having on their operations, Eastmond called for such duties and taxes to be waived.  
“…I personally feel the amount of revenue earned by Government through the collection of duties is unfair to the public, who have to supplement the additional costs per service. 
“I hope you understand what I am saying, it is the public who then have to pay for the duties,” he said. 
The dental practitioner added, “This should be reviewed by Government so that the highest level of service can be performed to engender a healthy nation, with all practitioners being equipped with the best diagnostic tools with which to provide modern services. 
“If such a structure is in place, it will also create other benefits that would be a great asset to our country and citizens.”
Lowering their operating costs, he suggested could result in more local health care practitioners, including specialists returning to the island to work and a general increase in employment opportunities. 
Eastmond was speaking last week at the Caribbean Dental Program Conference at Accra Beach Hotel.  (JRT)

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