Barbadians who can afford to foot a bill for service at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) may well have to dig into their pockets.
Prime Minister Freundel Stuart indicated this yesterday when he addressed the 59th annual conference of his Democratic Labour Party (DLP) at the DLP’s Belleville, St Michael, headquarters.
Stuart said the QEH must never lose its human face and those people who could not afford to pay for health care there and elsewhere must still have easy access to that care.
“But a mechanism must be put in place to ensure that those who can afford to pay for the services of the QEH are made to do so,” he told the gathering that included members of his Cabinet. “The result of this approach will be that the burden on the taxpayers will be considerably lightened.”
Former Minister of Health Donville Inniss and his successor John Boyce have pointed to the need for some QEH services to be paid for by users against the backdrop of escalating health care costs, but this was arguably the first firm indicator that Government would move to help the QEH significantly improve its revenue-collection potential.