Government gets advice on health care


As Government seeks to address the nagging issue of health care financing, one medical practitioner is suggesting that the Ministry of Health look at creating a hybrid method of financing, which is culturally appropriate, rather than adopting one of the international models in full.
That suggestion has come from Independent Senator Carol Lady Haynes, while contributing to the recent debate on the 2016 Appropriation Bill in the Upper Chamber.
“One of the options that has been used elsewhere is to look at a system which would utilise the services of some of the doctors in the private sector and possibly renting spaces at concessional rates within either the hospital or the polyclinic; and much as currently exists in the Drug Service, patients would have a co-pay if they wanted to be seen in the private sector,” she said.
Lady Haynes explained that that would provide income for the institution, additional manpower to deal with the patients and a guaranteed patient load for the additional doctors coming out of the university. She said that as the University of the West Indies continues to produce doctors prolifically in a small population like ours, there is a need to determine where those doctors are going to be able to serve the public and make a reasonable living.
“I suggest Sir that the initial plans to produce a hundred doctors every year was based on the assumption that the majority of these doctors graduating would not be from Barbados, [but] would be from overseas and therefore the finances of the scheme seemed attractive. But Mr. Deputy President as far as I can see the young doctors who are graduating every year are primarily and predominantly from Barbados and they have a reasonable expectation of being able to make a living while enhancing the level of medical care being offered by graduates of our university,” she said.
With that in mind, she said if the Cave Hill Campus is not attracting the number of medical students from overseas as expected, the time has come for research to be carried out to determine which areas of medical or paramedical practice, skills are most needed, and guide young people into those areas of study. She maintained that this is not a new concept to Barbados and one all branches of medicine should utilise. (JRT)

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