Nation News Covers Up For Queen Elizabeth Hospital In Radioactive Iodine Scandal

Back on March 23, 2008, Barbados Free Press took exception to the Nation News coverage of an important health story: the Queen Elizabeth Hospital had run out of radioactive iodine used to treat cancer patients… and that Barbados cancer patients had been without treatment for several months. (Nation News March 23, 2008)

Our story Your Daily Dose Of Stories That Would Cause Heads To Roll In Most Other Countries… highlighted that the Nation News reporters had failed to demand that the Queen Elizabeth Hospital account for their statement that “technical difficulties” at the hospital caused the QEH to run out of the iodine. Doctors interviewed by the paper said that pure and simple, the hospital had not paid the bills to the suppliers and, naturally, the supplies stopped coming.

The was no outrage in the Nation News coverage, no demands of the Minister of Health or individual hospital board members to account – and worst of all they let the position of the hospital stand that nobody was really at fault.

Dozens of cancer victims were denied medicine for months and in true Bajan fashion, the Nation News participates in the sham that no individual is at fault.


Now the Nation News continues with the cover-up and an idiotic statement by the hospital spokes person that it was just “a mix up”.

Months of no cancer treatment for citizens of Barbados. Will any deaths or long-term health complications result from this “mix-up”? The Nation News doesn’t care enough to ask that or any other probing questions.

No statement or investigation by the Minister of Health, and no reporters asking.

In the original Nation News story we were told that no medicine had been available for months. In the latest pablum, the paper says the problem lasted for “weeks” which is a LIE.

What really happened? What steps have been taken to ensure it never happens again? Who is at fault? Did any cancer patients die for lack of treatment? Will there be any long term deaths due to the “mix-up”?

A real newspaper with real journalists would be all over this story.

Welcome to Barbados.

Further Reading

April 6, 2008 – Nation News: QEH Patients Get Iodine After Mix-Up

March 23, 2008 – Nation News: Cancer Relief


Filed under Barbados, Barbados News & Media, Health, News Media

8 responses to “Nation News Covers Up For Queen Elizabeth Hospital In Radioactive Iodine Scandal

  1. Red Lake Lassie

    No wonder the “professional journalists” on this island are mad at you BFP. You make them look like fools for not doing their jobs correctly.

  2. Straight talk

    Red Lake Lassie:

    They may not be fools, I, for one, will not suffer them gladly, but I sincerely believe they are all charlatans, masquerading as a free press, yet merely regurgitators of government hand-outs and company press releases.

    I cannot recall one original investigative piece of journalism that has originated from Fontabelle in the last couple of years ( maybe Chinese workers, but that died a rapid, inconclusive death ).

    Please disabuse me if I am incorrect.

    The smugness of today’s panel on Brass Tacks epitomises the malaise of which our press is suffering.

    They failed to recognise the public’s need for obvious , elementary questions to be answered, but preferred to justify their “profession’s” divine right as the only estate allowed and qualified to print opinions.

    OK, there is a lot of rumour and innuendo flying about on the local blogs.

    It is a reflection on what ordinary Bajan’s are talking about.

    What would we have known about Veco, 3S, Hardwood Housing, Kingsland, Glyne Clarke, anmd a host of other questions which legitimately need accounting to the taxpayers if not for the blogs?

    Nada from the deadwood press.

    Professional journalists in Barbados are asleep at their keyboards, or more likely cowed by their editor’s eye on the bottom line, a situation virtually admitted by, the pay $60,000 rather than ask the burning question, David Ellis.

    Blog on, Barbados and the world.

    Citizen journalism may be scattergun, but occasionally it makes the pieces fit in a puzzle that the powers that be would like to keep private.

  3. PiedPiper

    When you think in terms of how a small island like Barbados has relative little “Murder and Mayhem”, you would think that any journalist/reporter in B’dos would have plenty of time on their hands to do research and proper investigation of events concerning Bajans. It has been discussed on this blog before, the appalling lack of actual “reporting” in The Nation. Even ordinary, everyday, events always seem to be lacking some vital piece of information that would tell you, the reader, the whole story.
    Isn’t the job description of a reporter to investigate and seek out those who would provide information? When I think of recent cases before the courts where it appears the reporter wasn’t even present during the proceedings and then filed his/her story with just a vague overview of the case, it is laughable.
    One has to wonder if the staff at The Nation got their jobs because of who they know and not what they know or having the proper credentials to be reporters in the first place.

  4. Pied Piper-


    You’re joking, right?

  5. PiedPiper

    BFP: The second PiedPiper (with a space) is not me and there appears to be an obvious attempt to impersonayte so would you please remove the post of Pied (space) Piper until they have the courage to come in under a legitimate nickname?


    BFP says,

    Thanks for the tip, PP… a search on the IP showed that it was those other fellows who so often try to disrupt our little community.

    March 23, 2008 at 2:43 pm

    MEDICAL APARTHEID WINS National Book Critics Circle Award

    Published: March 7, 2008
    New York Times

    The National Book Critics Circle Awards were announced, and Junot Díaz won the award for fiction for his debut novel, ”The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao” (Riverhead Books). Edwidge Danticat, the author of ”Brother, I’m Dying,” (Alfred A. Knopf) won for autobiography. ”Stanley: The Impossible Life of Africa’s Greatest Explorer” (Yale University Press) by Tim Jeal was honored for biography. Mary Jo Bang took the poetry prize for ”Elegy” (Graywolf Press). Harriet Washington won the nonfiction prize for ”Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present” (Doubleday), and Alex Ross won for criticism with ”The Rest is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century (Farrar, Straus and Giroux).

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