Nation e-Edition

Boyce lists QEH cuts

Boyce lists QEH cuts Minister of Health John Boyce (FP)

Tue, September 10, 2013 - 12:10 AM

QUEEN ELIZABETH HOSPITAL (QEH) DOCTORS on short leave  will not be replaced,  overtime payments will  be cut and there may be  revenue-producing measures.

These are some of the early  cost-saving measures to be implemented at Barbados’ main hospital as Government, doctors, and medical staff seek ways of making up for the $35 million taken from the budget of that institution, according to Minister of Health John Boyce.   

Speaking to members of the Democratic Labour Party’s Christ Church South branch Sunday, Boyce stressed that cost reduction measures at QEH were being taken in consultation with the Barbados Association of Medical Practitioners, the Medical Staff Committee, and the Barbados Registered Nurses Association.  

“We as a team have identified opportunities to save considerable sums of money. We’re talking  in the region of six, $10 million already in overtime and relief payments we believe we can cut back on. I’m not saying we can save all of it,” he said at the St Lawrence Primary School.

Please read the full story in today’s DAILY NATION, or in the eNATION edition.

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Posted by Carl Harper 10 months, 3 weeks ago
"...Boyce stressed that cost reduction measures at QEH were being taken in consultation with the Barbados Association of Medical Practitioners, the Medical Staff Committee, and the Barbados Registered Nurses Association."

Just like Prime Minister Stuart placed the blame for the impending layoffs and nonpayment squarely on permanent secretaries and department heads, Chris Sinckler roped in the Social Partnership as having played an agreeable role in his austerity measures, now John Boyce is making it seem as though the above groups are willing participants in the QEH budget cuts.

In previous postings, it is for these very reasons that I warned organizations - the BLP in particular - of a possible backlash from the acid tongues of DLP politicians if they got involved in any deficit reduction plan, and the draconian measures start to fail and go in disarray.

How can this DLP government implement budget cuts to the two most important pillars of the society - healthcare and education - while increasing the funds to Constituency Councils and a football tournament, and leaving CBC untouched?

The evidence of the layoffs is contained in a circular, "Implementation of Budgetary Proposals" where cuts to the tune of $50 million in temporary, substitutes and acting must be made this fiscal year, with a further 10 percent cuts in 2014-15.

Now we are seeing government Ministers are eager to pass the buck and accept little or no responsibility for the hardships they are placing on Barbadians, while pretending that they are oblivious to layoffs.

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Posted by Tony Webster 10 months, 3 weeks ago
Translation: any time spent waiting in the casualty...is certainly to be extended. I bin dere, and done dat already. Yes, bring a newspaper as usual and a cupple Panadols; but better include food, drink, blanket and pillow, and a large bottle of fortitude. It gotta be done, so doan fret. And pray for our nurses and doctors, to have the same fortitude, and professionalism, to work (harder) without overtime. Give them, our gratitude, please! And if those who "rule" us, were to lead by example, and to cut their own emoluments... give them respect and gratitude also.

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Posted by David Hall 10 months, 3 weeks ago
"there may be revenue-producing measures" Does this mean we have to pay ?. I find it appalling that the government despite all advice to the contrary has borrowed unabated for the last five years, not to increase capacity in the various sectors but rather to nurture DLP (Party)oriented re-election initiatives, as well as overseeing a huge unexplained drop in the country's foreign reserves, and seemingly no idea that things were getting out of hand. Consequently the government is now forced to institute these kinds of draconian measures at a facility like the QEH which in many ways is already on life support. Waiting in the Accident and Emergency for half a day is still very common, Yet government does not plan to replace doctors on short leave. Do They understand that these conditions could spell the difference between life and death.Do they not understand that not everyone has the resources to see the private doctors. Too many of these initiatives such as borrowing for tuition fees and maybe some people borrowing to see a private doctor to avoid further QEH delays will further impoverish vulnerable Barbadians.

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Posted by ego evaluation 10 months, 3 weeks ago
The doctors got a cut in their overtime pay, while the police got overtime pay taken. Also if there are not enough doctors now, how will the hospital manage with doctors on short leave not replaced?

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Posted by Bim Bum 10 months, 3 weeks ago
I have already suggested Token Fees
for things like prescriptions ($5 each)
and surgeries ($100-200)
to help DEFRAY expenses.

Only the *destitute* shall be exempt..
but most Bajans can well afford such token fees to help finance their hospital in this needy time!

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Posted by Leonard B 10 months, 3 weeks ago
I am very impressed with Minister Boyce, BAMP, The Med Staff Committee and BRNA for their collaboration and efforts to seek efficiencies and cut costs at QEH. The immediate response will be an outcry from those who do not see the wisdom in this. However, there is always some fat which can be cut so that those funds can be redeployed in more meaningful areas. It is understood that there should be no shortfall in services and no instance where lives are placed at risk during this restructuring. It is also understood that the non-medical functional areas should also be reviewed to ensure that efficient technology, strategies, and systems are in place. This exercise should have been undertaken ages ago. I am hoping that some of the monies saved will be put into much needed equipment, upkeep and programmes at the QEH. Good job folks! LB.

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Posted by Orson Arthur 10 months, 3 weeks ago
If you can't go to the doctor, or the Hospital
that means you are going to have a shorter life.
Things at the Hospital are bad. They are going to be
worse now . Barbados need some kind of health care.

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Posted by En Dee 10 months, 2 weeks ago
@Leonard B: It is my belief that you will vindicated in the long term. Despite the red nays of disagreement from fellow bloggers at this point I think that you are on the right track. I can't see nurses and doctors working with the MOH to negatively affect hospital patients. I also believe that looking at potential savings, as long as it does not cause additional hardships, will free up money which can be ploughed into upgrading emergency services, acquire new equipment and other necessities. Let us give their approach a chance to work, but, scream hard as hell if cost-cutting causes services to suffer in any way. Nigel D.

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Posted by Pan Wallie 10 months, 2 weeks ago
You are right, Leonard B. There always areas from which some fat can be trimmed. there was too much wastage of things like bandages, gauze and plaster. As for the kitchen area, something has to be done about the quality of food, the wastage of food (for may reasons, the spoilage and the pilfering of the same. Simply reordering to meet patients needs is not the answer, loss needs to be adressed. The last free rides in the ambulance should be the last free ride.
I don't quite agree with the non hiring of additional Doctors because they are needed. The old brigade with nothing more to offer and those failing to ugrade/refresh need to leave. Just the salary of one can easily pay a younger head and a nursing assistant. Cost cutting does not have to degrade the service, but the smarts must be right.

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