Barbados Eye Care in Cuba: What About Lion’s Eyecare Centre at Queen Elizabeth Hospital?

A reader of our post “If Barbados Needs Cuban Medical Help, Then We Are Really In Trouble” reminds us that the Lion’s Eyecare Centre at Queen Elizabeth Hospital was supposed to be the premier eyecare facility in the Caribbean. After a 4 million dollar donation by Lions, the facility was supposed to look after not only Bajans, but much of the Caribbean.

What happened? Can anyone out there provide an insider’s perspective?

Here is the letter from our reader…

We, like the rest of the Caribbean, are being offered free eye care by Cuba, but whatever happened to the free gift of the Lion’s Eyecare Centre at Queen Elizabeth Hospital?

I recollect when I was in Lions that this was intended to supply eyecare to Barbados and the Caribbean. Pass the QEH and look at the size of the building donated by Lions International for regional eyecare in the times of Brandford Taitt. I believe back then the sum was $4.0 Million for construction and outfitting (but I may be wrong). It is a whole wing of many storeys.

I remember it was a bit of an embarassment for Lions as the Government, having been offered and accepted the gift for free, could not come up with the budget to run it!!

It is used for various other purposes including blood collection and orthopaedic surgery so it does serve a purpose, …. but ….. why are we in a position to need free eyecare from Cuba?

Good point, Sir. Why should Bajans go begging hat-in-hand for health care from another country? Perhaps if some Government Ministers engaged in fewer Thursday afternoon liquid luncheons at the Hilton, they might find a way to provide the type of health care facilities that Barbados should have.

Cuba indeed! What a joke.


Filed under Barbados, Island Life, Politics & Corruption

8 responses to “Barbados Eye Care in Cuba: What About Lion’s Eyecare Centre at Queen Elizabeth Hospital?

  1. Ping Yark

    Politics is all about give and take – back scratching if you like, so my question is this – what’s in it for Cuba ?

  2. BFP

    Good Question Ping Yark!

    What does Cuba want, and what has Barbados promised?

  3. Rumplestilskin

    ”but ….. why are we in a position to need free eyecare from Cuba?”

    Probably because, as we do not have the facilities /equipment, despite having some excellent Opthalmalogists, a lack of resources and funding, we need help.

    As Cuba apparently has an excellent healthcare system and medical training (well beyond its resource /expectation level) is generous with its assistance to other Caribbean nations, Cuba helps.

    Unless you were expecting somewhere North to help with free medical assistance? THAT would be a joke.

    It’s own citizens can’t even get free medical care let alone us look for assistance.

    Be thankful for any help that is sent, God works in mysterious ways.

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  5. Eyebother

    I don’t know why you all are surprised that Barbados turns to Cuba for advanced medical care. Cuba is a superpower in terms of biomedicine, both at the research end and particularly in clinical skills, and exports its skills throughout Latin America and Africa. Cuba has a lower infant mortality rate than the US, and if you correct for (health) inequality in the US where a black male in the inner city has a life expectancy under 50 and where infant mortality is near 20 in every 1000 live births, is a far more lucky place to be born for the ordinary person than the US. Unlike Barbados, where our health care system is increasingly organized around ability to pay, theres is organised around need. This won’t please you all kneejerk anti-Coms out there, but its the cold fact.

  6. Rumplestilskin

    Hmm. As per the horrible story in today’s paper, where a girl in obvious severe medical distress waited eight!!! hours for treatment, the administration of the hospital is in a mess.


  7. Wishing in Vain

    It most certainly is in a large mess, what a disgrace to those that have no choice and no where else to seek attention and care.

    This whole island seems to be on auto pilot and with no skipper in charge.

    The case was made even worst by the sick actions of the person that violated the dead persons body.

    Where are we heading?Does anyone have a clue?

  8. Long-term memory Bajan.

    It seems as though when Cuba offers help everyone seems to come running. Don’t forget who was there first…….. and so on.

    Long-term memory Bajan.