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Inniss: $32m for primary health care

Lisa King

Inniss: $32m for primary health care

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The Ministry of Health is spending some $32 million on primary health care services this year.  
Minister of Health Donville Inniss pointed out that while there was considerable focus on tertiary health care and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, a network of eight polyclinics and three satellite clinics offered a comprehensive range of primary care services where most Barbadians accessed health care.
That was where most community-based health care needs were addressed, Inniss told a workshop on  Primary Health Care Consultation And Sensitization at The Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre yesterday.
The minister said it was imperative that as Barbados sought to address its health care challenges “that we redirect much of our resources and energy to the area that can yield the greatest return on the investment in health care.
“It was important to ensure that the primary health care system continued to be accessible and affordable to all. 
“I am satisfied that our polyclinics are strategically located and when we complete the St. John Polyclinic next year, as well as complete upgrades to our satellite facilities, Barbados should be adequately served in terms of physical plants in the right locations to meet our primary care needs for the next 20 years,” he stated.
Inniss urged health officials to embrace internationally recognised elements of a modern health care system.
“Delivery of primary health care services means much more than having ultra-modern buildings to whence people come. Accessibility also means that we must also take our services to individuals and communities… Our primary health care system must continue to be accessible and affordable to all.
“Therefore, as populations shift and other demographic parameters evolve, we must be proactive and ensure that we are where it matters most,” he noted.
The minister also cited the employment of “more aggressive preventative strategies” as vital to an improved primary health care model.