PM urged to deliver on promise
Member of Parliament for Christ Church West, Dr Maria Agard has appealed to Prime Minister Freundel Stuart to deliver on a promise he made to review reforms made to the National Drug Service.
In her maiden speech to Parliament today during the Estimates debate the newly-elected MP expressed concern about what she described as “the insensitive way” some drugs had been removed from the national drug formulary, “placing people in a position of using substitute medication whose interactions were not well known” and which she claimed placed “many lives at risk”.
“I believe that the three million dollars that we are trying to save is but small change for this singular national good”, the health professional suggested, amidst loud thumping from the Opposition bench.
Agard devoted a greater part of her presentation to health and Barbados’ elderly population, calling on Government to make the management of mental health care a “concern and priority”.
Charging that the money allocated to the Ministry of Health fell far short of what was required, she said the Queen Elizabeth Hospital was underfunded with a “grossly inadequate” budget.
Agard called on Government to consider what she described as an emerging condition with mental health in Barbados which saw “too many families suffering because of dementia and Alzheimers disease.”
She said many Alzheimer’s victims endured even greater suffering because care-givers themselves did not understand the disease.
Saying Barbados’ rapidly-growing elderly population was “under threat”, the Christ Church West MP hoped consideration would be given to constructing a senior citizens’ home in every constituency as she called for additional senior citizen facilities, more home helpers and provision for institutionalised care under the Expanded Care of the Elderly programme.
She also charged that the money allocated to the Ministry of Health in the Estimates fell far short of what was required, since according to her, the Queen Elizabeth Hospital was already underfunded with a “grossly inadequate” budget.
Agard began her presentation by expressing thanks to the constituents of Christ Church West for electing her, saying she was consumed with “the passion and desire to serve”.
“Whilst I sit on the Opposition side, I am conscious that a nation of people have elected 30 representatives to form one government with the responsibility to serve the needs of our people and to forge for them and their children a future where we take our rightful place as the number one small developing state”Agard stated.