Introduction of QEH user fees examined
The Barbados Government is continuing to “carefully” examine the possible introduction of user fees at the island’s sole primary care medical institution.
Speaking at the signing ceremony of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Health and the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus this morning, Minister John Boyce suggested that the entire society ought to recognise the need for efficiencies, management of revenue and its growth.
Boyce said the objectives set out in government’s recent budgetary proposals “are real objectives that have to be met. It is a question of making sure that this country is here for us and for our children, 10, 15, 20 years down the road. So it is clear that all Barbadians from all walks of life will be asked to join in this very important struggle.”
The minister reasoned that the country had done well so far in relative terms.
“And we don’t want to … you know, talk to our neighbours, talk to our partners, and these are realities which will inform the decisions as we go forward, so that all areas of revenue restructuring will be examined, bearing in mind, as was carefully pointed in the budget by the minister of finance, those who will experience hardships, will be dealt with in the proper programme of social care attached to any arrangements that are made,” Boyce stated.
He said these were real targets which the government has set in regards to fiscal prudence in Barbados, “which we know must be met”.
The minister explained that the signing of the MOU, which took place at the Ministry of Health in the Frank Walcott Building, was an essential prerequisite for the acquisition of accreditation status by the University of the West Indies Faculty of Medicine, by the Caribbean Accreditation Authority for education, medicine and other professions.
Boyce also revealed that a cardiac suite at the QEH should be completed in another two months. (EJ)