Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Health care ‘too costly’

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HEALTH CARE is costly and, according to Minister of Health Donville Inniss, taxes will never be enough to cover this country’s huge medical bill.Inniss said this while delivering the feature address at the tenth annual Professor E.R. Walrond Scientific Symposium at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital yesterday morning.Speaking before several physicians and interns, Inniss said that each time he spoke about the cost of health care in Barbados, there were those who emerged from “their political tombs” to imply that the Government would start charging for health care in Barbados.“My goal is quite simple – that is to remind Barbadians that health care here, like anywhere else, is quite costly; secondly that the state cannot provide all clinical interventions free of cost to all end users; thirdly, that taxes paid cannot and have never been enough to provide everything to everyone [on] the spur of the moment, especially when we factor in all the other social services that our citizens and our society continue to benefit from.”Inniss also said it was important that every effort be made to contain costs without compromising on quality of service.He told the medical community that a clinical audit, which involves reviewing the delivery of health care to ensure that best practice was being implemented, was paramount to medical care.To this end, Inniss said that research and audit therefore were as inseparable as they were vital to the delivery of quality health care.“It is important for us to understand that the research presented this week represents only the beginning.“You researchers are delving into new theories and ideas which must be acknowledged, which must be developed, and which must be preserved for the benefit of future generations of Barbadians and other persons utilising our healthcare services.”Inniss said that traditionally Barbados had looked to regional and international institutions to be leaders in clinical research but research should start at home.“Research which is initiated within our community is culturally relevant and sensitive to our particular needs, which will be different to those of another country.“That is why this symposium must be maintained and supported at all levels; we must seek to innovate, develop and implement what is ours instead of always importing foreign ideas and processes and then adapting them to suit our specifications.”He said the ministry was supportive of the UWI’s most recent initiative to make research a high priority in all of its graduate and post-graduate programmes.Inniss said the Ministry of Health would also continue to support training in public health as these courses place emphasis on epidemiology, biostatistics and research. (MK)

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