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Doctors’ stick to your duties

Carol Martindale

Doctors’ stick to your duties

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Doctors need to do their job and let the Queen Elizabeth Hospital’s Records Department do theirs.
That’s the advice from some of our online readers who responded to the new medical policy that stipulates that doctors check the documentation of patients coming to them to ascertain who are  non-nationals.
The Barbados Association of Medical Practitioners (BAMP), however, says it will not be seeking to verify the status of any patient coming to them.
The current policy is that non-nationals can no longer access medical services unless they are citizens, lawful permanent residents or hold work permits, unless it is an emergency or a public health threat.
The majority of the readers on the Nation’s Facebook page do not believe it is the duty of doctors to check the status of patients. Others feel the status of patients should be determined to help protect and safeguard Barbados’ health care system.
These are some of the comments shared.
Gina Barrow: “If pertains to those doctors at QEH and the polyclinics, then Records and Accounts departments would need to do their jobs. Administrative departments are there for a reason”.
Jimmy Alexander: “Please don’t miss my point. The Minister has every right to say that certain things should be checked but it’s for Records/Admitting and Accounts to do not the doctors.”
Sophia Lyn: “In Canada you need to present a valid health care card of the province you reside in to be eligible for service. If you can’t provide the card, you are billed accordingly. This is done by the administration, not the doctor.
Ryan Kellman: “By the time the patients get to the doctor this should be known by the person doing the admitting. If the doctor decides to proceed after that then he would be working pro bono and hence should not be paid by Government who has employed him. There is no way in the world that you can go and get free health care”.
Alan Yearwood: “Status should be checked before the patient is in front of the doctor. They are not Immigration agents”.
Nicole Brathwaite: “Yes [they should be checked] because non- nationals are breaking down the Barbados economic system. In Canada you have to be a citizen to get free health care. This practice should be worldwide. Also, present your documentation before seeing the doctor. If you don’t have documents, you should be prepared to pay for it. I only see it as being fair”.
Ashantia Howard: “Check the status. We cannot afford to be the regional welfare distributor. They can get the health care but just not for free”.