Tag Archives: Health

Why is Dengue Fever up 300% so far this year?

Mosquito dengue Barbados

Dengue is serious business, and a secondary infection can be a disaster shutting down the liver or damaging the heart.

That’s serious business alright.

Epidemic Dengue is also serious business when it comes to tourism and the economy.

So what is the government doing about a spectacular 300% increase in cases?

It should be a national emergency, but all I see is the same old, same old.

Some things never change.

26 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Health

Can Barbados invent a better toilet?

Suckwells, well, suck!

Billy and Melinda Gates are doing something truly wonderful with all that Windows95 money you sent them: they are trying to find a better way to dispose of your poop.

Barbados should really really really be into this challenge. After all, this small island doesn’t have much of a buffer between you sitting on the toilet and the drinking water that comes out of your kitchen faucet.

If that sounds yucky, it’s only because it’s closer to the truth than we like to be reminded of.

Watch the video, then stop by Bill’s personal blog and take a look.

Bill Gates: Inventing a Toilet for the 21st Century

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Filed under Health, Technology

Shocking photos of Eva and Hans Rausing show what drugs do

UPDATE: Hans Rausing lived with wife’s dead body for up to a week!

£15million mansion “drug den, living in squalor’

“Eva Rausing, the wife of an heir to the Tetra Pak fortune, may have lay dead for up to a week in a bedroom at the couple’s £50m central London home, it emerged yesterday.” The Independent

“It was total squalor. Really messy. You wouldn’t believe they were billionaires. It shows the effects of drugs. They couldn’t look after themselves or their house. They only used two rooms despite having dozens. It’s very sad indeed.” Mail Online

The photos…

Seven years ago…

(Hans & Eva Rausing photo used with permission: Copyright – www.donfeatures.com)

A few weeks ago…

click for large photo

Photos courtesy of Mail Online: The shocking decline of the TetraPak billionaire and his wife.

BFP: Eva Rausing found dead. Husband Hans Kristian Rausing arrested.

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Filed under Barbados, Celebrities, Health

Meat glue: Is your beef roast held together with pork blood enzymes?

Call upon Barbados Ministry of Health to ban meat glue use

Have you heard about meat glue? I hadn’t until an old friend sent Barbados Free Press the above YouTube video. It is a common practice where scraps of meat are glued together so they mimic prime cuts, and it’s not confined to beef: pork, chicken and lamb are also subject to this trickery.

According to the video report, the enzymes used to perform this are dangerous and the meat ‘cuts’ created by this process can have over a hundred times the bacteria content of ‘real’ meat cuts. That’s important if that nice looking steak you ordered ‘rare’ is actually formed with multiple scraps of meat.

This white powder sold by the kilo, is the meat industry’s dirty little secret, secret because it is hazardous to your health! Meat glue makes pieces of beef, lamb, chicken or fish that would normally be thrown out stick together so closely that it looks like a solid piece of meat. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Consumer Issues, Health

Why does Barbados have a “low risk of liability” for doctors?

click photo for large

What does “low risk of liability” for doctors mean for medical patients?

Dear Barbados Free Press,

I saw in the news the other day that the Barbados government is partnering with an American company to build new medical tourism facilities on the site of the St. Joseph Hospital. The news story and the press release sound like this could be an opportunity for Barbados but only if enough investors and medical professionals come on board.

The American World Clinics website is straightforward saying that Barbados is the company’s first project, and lists many reasons why Barbados would be a good place for medical professionals and to build a medical tourism industry. One of the listed reasons puzzles me though…

The American World Clinics press release and the website say that Barbados is a good place for medical professionals because “Barbados is friendly for medical practice and features low risk of liability…”

What does this “low risk of liability” mean, exactly?

We know it takes ten and fifteen years for civil lawsuits to be heard in our court system. What about medical malpractice lawsuits? Would a medical malpractice lawsuit take ten or fifteen years to resolve in the Barbados courts? If the Barbados government is a partner with American World Clinics, can a patient rely upon the Barbados government and the courts in a dispute?

The question that really needs answering is “If Barbados features ‘low risk of liability’ for physicians, does that mean it features a higher risk for international medical tourism patients?”

Also I would like to know about the medical certification procedures in Barbados and what body will oversee the clinics to ensure that compliance with medical standards is acceptable? What are the medical standards in Barbados?

Yours truly,

(name withheld by BFP) Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Consumer Issues, Health

Frankenstein: British scientists create 150 human/animal embryos

You just know that Josef Mengele must be proud as hell that British scientists have adopted his values…

“UK SCIENTISTS have created more than 150 human-animal hybrid embryos in British laboratories.

The hybrids have been produced in secret over the past three years by researchers looking into possible cures for a wide range of diseases.

The revelation comes a day after a committee of scientists warned of a nightmare Planet of the Apes scenario in which work on human-animal creations goes too far…”

… from the Herald Sun article: Labs grow human-animal hybrids

Barbados must remember…

When Owen Arthur announced that our country would be the “stem cell center of the world”, it ended very badly with the cells of murdered Ukrainian babies being shipped here for research and cosmetic use.

Science and medicine without controls, ethics or morality always degenerates into evil.

Further Reading from BFP’s past articles…

The Thriving Fetal Body Parts Industry In Barbados

“The Government of Barbados has some serious explaining to do about how it climbed into bed with an organization that is now accused of murdering newborn infants for their body organs.”

from the BFP article The Nation Newspaper Tackles Barbados Clinic – Baby Murder Story

Not pretty, but a compelling read for any who have doubts about whether Barbados should be allowing medical companies to do what they wish in our country – simply because they bring in foreign exchange funds…

BFP: BREAKING – BBC Has Video: Healthy Ukrainian Newborns Murdered For Body Parts – Destination Barbados Clinic

BFP: The Nation Newspaper Tackles Barbados Clinic – Baby Murder Story

BFP: How Much Money Did Barbados Labour Party Receive From Stem Cell Clinic?

BFP: Barbados Clinic Baby Murder Scandal

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Filed under Ethics, Health

Cancer drug shortage: Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Health authorities telling the truth.

Drug producers limiting supply to up prices and profits?

“In some cases, oncologists are creating a triage system whereby the patient who is most likely to be cured will receive the therapy that’s in short supply.”

by Nevermind Kurt

A simple internet search reveals that current shortage of chemotherapy drugs in Barbados is a worldwide problem with no reasonable explanation forthcoming from the manufacturers or governments. Some say it is a showdown with the US government over manufacturing standards. Some say that the drug makers are playing the trump card of withholding the supplies and killing patients in a deadly political game.

It also is entirely possible that like OPEC, the drug producers have decided to control the supply, lower their costs and thus raise profits. Nevermind the patients.

After all, the relatives of the manufacturers and the elites will always be able to find supplies because they have money. For the majority of us who rely upon our public health systems, there is another reality. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Consumer Issues, Health, Human Rights

Barbados Health Care denied to visitors: Justified? Racist? Two readers have their say…

In the past week the Caribbean has been abuzz with stories and opinion pieces about the Barbados government’s decision to deny free health care to visitors – with the exception of real emergencies, of course.

Two of our readers chime in with their five and an half pennies. First up: Kammie Holder…

Barbados Health Care in The Amputation Capital of the World!

by Kammie Holder

When in Ghana a couple months ago I cannot remember seeing obese persons. What I did see were plenty of markets selling vegetables and not a brand name fast food restaurant in sight.  In Barbados our lifestyle coupled with our “progress” has led us to the enviable position of being the amputation capital of the world and the country in the Caribbean with a highest population of obese persons. Those are my observations and if the stats prove me wrong it won’t be by much. Continue reading

35 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Health, Human Rights, Immigration

Canadian Medical Tourism researchers “Very serious” about their independence

At what point does normal hospitality become something else?

Chris Breedy promises he'll serve doubles to the Simon Fraser team if they visit Mount Gay. Good Work Chris! Keep 'em happy.

Our story about the Simon Fraser University team coming to Barbados to research medical tourism caused a lively discussion on and off the blog. Folks raised all kinds of questions about the research, how it will be used and about who is funding the research.

On anonymous reader called “One who knows” stated the the Simon Fraser University team already arranged to meet with Barbados government representatives and that the government had plans to fete the Canadians with some tours, dinner at the Hilton and a boat ride with rum punch.

One of the team members, Assistant Professor Jeremy Snyder, wrote back to us (copied at the bottom of this post), answered a few readers’ questions and took a strong stand on his research team’s independence and funding.

We’re impressed! We don’t usually see that kind of transparency and ethics ’bout this rock. Although you can probably buy our own George or Cliverton for a bottle of Mount Gay’s finest, it sounds to us like Professor Snyder and his friends won’t be corrupting their report because somebody bought dinner and took them on a bus tour around the island.

But the discussion does raise an interesting subject: At what point does normal hospitality become something else? Where are the lines? Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Health

Canadian University team wants your thoughts on Medical Tourism

Simon Fraser University research team coming to Barbados

Dear Barbados Free Press,

I am part of a research team from Simon Fraser University, near Vancouver, Canada, that is researching medical tourism – that is, international travel with the intention of receiving medical care. As you may know, international patients, including Canadians, are traveling to Barbados to engage in medical tourism. Many questions are raised by this process, including what steps Barbados has taken to encourage and regulate this industry, how this industry has developed in Barbados, what effects this industry is having in Barbados, how many Canadians are traveling to Barbados and for what procedures, and whether Canadians are investing in the medical tourism industry in Barbados.

To address these questions, my colleagues Valorie Crooks, Rory Johnston, Leigh Turner and I will be visiting Barbados from April 26 – May 2, 2011 to conduct interviews with ‘medical tourism stakeholders’. We would like to invite you to participate in an interview during our time there in order to better understand the scope and effects of medical tourism in Barbados and the role of Canadians in this industry. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Health

Barbados Health Minister Donville Inniss changes position on prostitution, morality – or does he?

Equates gay/lesbian people with prostitutes

Are you confused by the Health Minister’s words? Me too. Have a read…

“What we may want to debate is the issue of not discriminating against people based on their perceived sexual orientation or perceived sexual practice as a profession.

I think we need to be a lot more all-embracing.

“That does not mean that we have to drop our moral guards and say that all of these things are to be accepted. I am not promoting homosexuality or prostitution. I am simply saying that we have to have a more open mind and accept that not all of us are the same,”

Friends, I don’t know what to think upon reading The Nation article Not here!

Health Minister Donville Inniss seems to be lumping gay and lesbian people in with people who choose to sell their bodies for money: prostitutes. Here at BFP we fail to see the equivalency. Matter of fact, I (Cliverton) don’t like the linkage at all. The statements remind me of the position of that admitted pimp and self-proclaimed “sex industry expert” Charles Lewis – who believes that gay and lesbian people will naturally back his profession as a slave master of prostitutes.

Even Auntie Moses and George who are “uncomfortable” with homosexual and lesbian people (and I am being conservative especially as to George’s views) realize that being born gay, lesbian or heterosexual or somewheres in between doesn’t have anything to do with choosing to selling your body to strangers.

The other confusing topic for Health Minister Inniss is the bit about “dropping our moral guards…” Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Ethics, Health, Human Rights, Politics

Sparman – Ishmael Affair: Queen Elizabeth Hospital cancels suspension, lawsuits fly

The Nation is reporting that Senior Consultant Cardiologist Dr. Richard Ishmael is fully back on the job after his suspension was lifted by the QEH Board. Doctor Ishmael (photo above) filed a lawsuit against the hospital and perhaps others, although information is sketchy right now.

Minister of Health Donville Inniss is doing his best to distance himself from the chaos, but we don’t think that’s possible. Minister Inniss punched the tar baby when he sued Dr. Ishmael and his hands aren’t going to come unstuck anytime soon.

And speaking of Minister Inniss: his scripted “soft questions only” radio appearance didn’t answer anything to do with government funding of the Sparman private clinic. It’s an important question because many voters believe that public money should go to public health care first – especially considering how badly the Queen Elizabeth Hospital needs repair and replacement.

Here are some of our background articles on a story that deserves your continuing attention…

December 30, 2010: The Sparman Clinic Affair – Questions about money, conflicts of interest

December 22, 2010: The Sparman Affair: We print Dr. Ishmael’s letter for which he was suspended and sued.

December 21, 2010: The strange case of Doctor Ishmael and Mister Sparman

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Filed under Barbados, Consumer Issues, Corruption, Ethics, Health, Politics

Barbados National Union of Public Workers building mini-hospital

Barbados Queen Elizabeth Hospital guest toilet. Yes, that's long term gummy urine/feces splashing, then drying, then the next layer from the next A&E "guest".

The NUPW shouldn’t have a need for a health care facility, but they do.

“The NUPW members are welcome to do what they want with their money and I congratulate them. Just don’t ask me for my tax dollars if my family is not welcome at your new facility.”

When your organization has over 20,000 members and the public hospital and health system isn’t doing the job for your members and their families: you start to build your own health care facilities and system. Because you can.

That’s exactly what is happening with the National Union of Public Workers. The organisation announced that it is building a “three-storey, ultra modern diagnostic and treatment facility” at their Dalkeith, St. Michael complex.

NUPW is mum on the cost, number of beds and number of surgeries in the facility, but describes the project as “major” and says that financing is in place… Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Consumer Issues, Economy, Health, Human Rights, Politics

The Sparman Clinic Affair – Questions about money, conflicts of interest

“The lower the cardiac care capabilities are at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, the more money the private Sparman Clinic will make.”

“How many patients have been transferred from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital to the Sparman Clinic since July 2009? How did the transfers come about?”

… BFP staffers Marcus, Robert & Cliverton discussing the Sparman Clinic Affair

Who are the financiers and beneficial owners of The Sparman Clinic Inc.?

  • Did the Government of Barbados provide any financing or guarantees regarding the Sparman Clinic?
  • Are any Sparman owners or personnel also Government officials or Queen Elizabeth Hospital employees or Board members with potential conflicts of interest?
  • Have any Government officials, Queen Elizabeth Hospital workers or their immediate family members received any payments or gifts from Doctor Sparman?
  • Has the Sparman Clinic accepted any Barbados citizens for free cardiac treatment as promised in 2009 when government financial concessions were provided?
  • Why hasn’t the government opened the new $5.2 million dollar Cardiac Suite at the QEH as promised by Health Minister Inniss in July 2009 “on an urgent basis”?
  • Have the automated external defibrillators been strategically positioned throughout the country and 200 persons trained to operate them as promised by Health Minister Inniss in July 2009?
  • How many patients have been transferred from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital to the Sparman Clinic since July 2009? How did the transfers come about?
  • Dr. Ishmael’s letter of complaint details a similar incident where a complaint was made about Dr. Sparman to the Medical Council of Barbados. What are the details and the outcome of that complaint?

(L - r) Director of the Sparman Clinic, Cardiologist, Dr. Alfred Sparman; Minister of Health, Donville Inniss, his wife, Gail Inniss and the Minister's Personal Assistant, Cindy Downes at the start of the official opening of the $20 million facility for cardiac care located at No. 4, 6th Avenue Belleville St. Michael (photo & caption: Barbados Government Information Service)

  • Given the controversial and troubling public history of Doctor Alfred Sparman dating back ten or more years, why did the Minister of Health and government think it wise in 2009 to so closely associate government with Dr. Sparman and his clinic?
  • On what basis did the Minister of Health call Dr. Sparman a “cardiologist”?

Doctor Richard G. Ishmael pays the price for asking reasonable questions about corruption.

Doctor Richard G. Ishmael was suspended by the Queen Elizabeth Hospital for daring to put into writing his observations and concerns about Dr. Alfred Sparman’s actions and qualifications – and also his questions about the troubling apparent relationships between Doctor Sparman, the Director of Medical Services, the Minister of Health and unknown staff at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital acting as “moles” for The Sparman Clinic. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Ethics, Health, Politics

Was David Thompson’s cancer related to the stress of his duties?

The relationship between Prime Minister Thompson’s illness and politics

Our friend Jdid wrote this article shortly after the death of Barbados Prime Minister David Thompson. We thought it was a good piece at the time but we just never got around to telling you about it.

Better late than never and all that…

by Jdid - Toronto, Canada

Subliminally

Ok, is only two days gone and all we bajans still in mourning but I got a certain beef with the whole Bajan Prime Minister David Thompson illness dying thing. Sorry if its not in keeping with the mourning motif but just need to say it anyways.

Look, I keep hearing from the time it was said that he was sick, comments made by various people (and no it wasnt silly online comments) some who I thought were rather smart folk that seem to suggest that his focus on being prime minister led to his demise. Stuff like oh he was so keen on being PM and he work so hard to get there and then bram he dead. Now I aint saying a majority a people saying so, quite far from it, but I’m just saying I’ve heard those silly comments maybe one time to often and they seem to me to be ridiculously suggesting that there is a correlation, some sort of cause and effect between the two things, his aim to be PM and his death…

… continue reading at Doan Mind Me Subliminally

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Filed under Barbados, Health, Politics

Arsenic in our food? Keltruth looks at the frightening reality of what we eat…

Does Barbados allow the addition of arsenic to chicken feed?

While surfing the net yesterday I came across the latest from Keltruth Blog…

“Most chicken growers in the US add arsenic to the feed. One such additive is the antibiotic arsenic compound roxarsone. Arsenic additives are approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) but have been banned in the European Union since 1999. The FDA has been petitioned to ban arsenic, but as far as I know has not acted.”

… from Keltruth Blog’s article Are Most Americans Consuming Meat Laced with a Deadly Poison?

Yikes! I’ve heard all kinds of stories about the food we eat, but never anything about the deliberate introduction of the deadly poison arsenic into our foods. Whatever for? Aren’t there any alternatives available?

The Keltruth article sources many reports and incidents of poisoning and it makes me wonder if arsenic is added to the chicken feed made in Barbados. Strangely enough, one of the people who might know the answer to that question is none other than our Supervisor of Insurance,  Carlos Belgrave. Continue reading

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Filed under Agriculture, Barbados, Consumer Issues, Health

Barbados Prime Minister Thompson has pancreatic cancer

Coming back from New York City next week

Early this morning Prime Minister David Thompson’s physician, Dr. Richard Ishmael, announced that the PM has pancreatic cancer and went back to New York City last week to deal with complications.

Our prayers and thoughts go out to the PM and his family.

Breaking: Nation News – PM Thompson diagnosed with pancreatic cancer

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Filed under Barbados, Health, Politics

USA may kick out Barbados mother while child treated for cancer

UPDATED: August 27, 2010 5pm – Good News!

Barbados Mother of Sick Child Told She Can Stay in US

ATLANTA – A mother from Barbados who was being told she may have to leave her critically ill daughter in Atlanta received some good news Friday. Petra Gooding says her immigration attorney got a call Friday morning from immigration. They were told they are working on extending her visa to allow her to stay in the country until November.

full story at Fox 5 News

BFP’s Original story…

Petrah Gooding may have to leave 7 year old daughter alone in USA for treatment

Thousands of illegal immigrants stream into the USA every day from Mexico and the courts and US government bends over backwards to accommodate them. That’s Mexico: this is about Barbados.

Barbados  mother Petrah Gooding applied LEGALLY to take her daughter Niamah, aged 7, for cancer treatment at Atlanta’s Aflac Cancer Centre. The USA gave the mother a nine month visa, while the daughter received 18 months because that is the length of the cancer treatment programme.

Now the USA has told the mother to leave her 7 year old daughter behind and exit the country on September 2, 2010. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Health, Immigration