Barbados’ seven polyclinics are bursting at the seams, having had well over half million attendances last year. The number of prescriptions dispensed at their pharmacies is at an all-time high as well.
This is taking place as the doctors’ and pharmacists’ associations are reporting an unprecedented fall-off in business.
This trend has resulted in long waiting times for treatment and the dispensing of medication at polyclinics, delays in appointments and, increasingly, complaints from frustrated patients.
SUNDAY SUN investigations have revealed that at the end of 2012, there were 494 080 attendances at the islands’ polyclinics, 87 844 more or a 21.6 per cent increase since 2007.
Last year attendances rose to well over half-million, say sources, who estimated that so far this year it could be closer to 600 000 attendances, given the impact of rising layoffs from both Government and the private sector, along with the effects of the continuing harsh economic climate.