Friday, April 19, 2024

Mottley calls for urgent health talks


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STATING THAT HEALTHCARE was too important a national issue for political grandstanding, Leader of the Opposition Mia Mottley appealed to Government this morning to hold a national consultation to address the financial challenges of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) to come up with a sustainable solution.

Mottley made the call at a hurriedly called press conference in the Opposition’s offices in the Parliament Buildings minutes after her Barbados Labour Party (BLP) team walked out of Parliament at 10:35 a.m. following the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Michael Carrington, dismissed their motion to debate the crisis at the QEH as a matter of urgent public attention.

That motion was tabled last Friday afternoon following a meeting of the Barbados Association of Medical Practitioners (BAMP) and the Junior Doctors Association (JDA) where they instructed their members to deal with only emergency cases as the shortages at the QEH had reached a critical level. The doctors said they could not continue to work in the present circumstances given “the health of this nation is at risk”.

Yesterday, Mottley said health was a non-partisan issue given that the QEH was Barbados’ only acute tertiary facility to which all Barbadians must go. Therefore it was in the interest of everyone, regardless of political affiliation, to get things right there.

As such, Mottley said the BLP was prepared to support any supplementary the Government brought to Parliament to address the issue as long as it took into account the matters raised by the doctors.

She bemoaned the fact that it was midday on Tuesday, four days after the doctors spoke out, yet no meeting has been held between the QEH administrators and the doctors. (SP)




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