Sunday 25 August, 2019

Better transport to polyclinics needed

Fairchild Street Bus Terminal in Bridgetown.

Fairchild Street Bus Terminal in Bridgetown.

Health Minister John Boyce said he will be seeking to engage the Transport Board on improved routes to service the island’s polyclinics.

Boyce, a former Transport Minister, said the current system focuses heavily on Bridgetown as a hub and does not give full consideration to get people to other areas, even as development and traffic flows have changed.

“Our city centres have changed; they have grown and spread out more and more,” he observed. “We recognise the need for us to look at the whole question of transport so we can get these centres properly satisfied.”

His comments came as he delivered the weekly Astor B. Watts lecture this afternoon on the topic, “Barbados’ Health Care System Is World Class - How Is It Funded?”

He also revealed that there are currently six working ambulances in the public sector, with the Accident & Emergency Department receiving 40,000 visits annually.

Boyce also pointed to the significant investment made in the public health care system, citing that between 2000 - 2007, $887 million was spent on the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, while this figure was $1.34 billion for 2008 - 2015.

Noting that “healthcare is a major expenditure for Barbadians and the Government of Barbados”, the Health Minister outlined that $732 million are spent in health care, 55 per cent of which is covered by the Government.

He added that $373 million of that total is directly contributed from the Consolidated Fund to cover primary, secondary and tertiary health care.

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