Daily Archives: August 24, 2008

Barbados Queen Elizabeth Hospital – Refurbish or Tear It Down?

Barbados Queen Elizabeth Hospital Washroom

Barbados Queen Elizabeth Hospital Washroom

The government appears to be in two minds about the Hospital.

Should we refurbish or should we build new?

Refurbishment sounds cheaper and quicker and Barbadians have grown weary of big expensive projects, with escalating costs, strong whiffs of corruption and long delays.

But the problem with refurbishing an old hospital, making it compliant with modern safety standards and ready for new equipment is that it can be very expensive. I understand that the basement would require substantial work to allow the installation of new heavy medical equipment. I understand that in the face of a hurricane the existing hospital is poorly located, but I am no expert. Refurbishing can be so expensive that it may make economic sense to build a new one. Refurbishing costs of $400-500m have been bandied around while a new hospital would probably cost $600-700m.

It is also hard to refurbish a hospital with patients in it. I have asthma like many Barbadians. Imagine being in a hospital which is a construction site with an asthmatic attack? We would have to have a transition plan that may add further to the costs.

All this sounds like an argument for new but I recognize that the budgetary seduction of a new hospital financed by the private sector using a commitment from the government’s annual budget (Public Finance Iniatives like BOLT) may be clouding good judgement of the hospital “consultants”. That said, this government is so keen to undo everything the last government did (for good or ill) that as the last government favoured a new hospital, they are probably inclined to prefer refurbishment at whatever cost. Most countries have gone the route of new versus refurbishment. I recall a figure of 40 new hospitals in the UK over the past 20 years using BOLT.

I also think – an excellent point first raised on these pages by Georgie Porgie, who I do not normally agree with – that the issue is not just about the physical infrastructure but also the organization of treatment in Barbados and management of the clinics and hospitals. The sad case of Leslie Barrow who could not get to the hospital in time because there were no ambulances is one aspect of this. Should we upgrade our clinics first, allow them to take some strain off the hospital, and then refurbish? This is partly about education as Bajans think of the hospital as the place to go.

Moreover, many of the expensive spaces in the hospital are taken up by people who are not ill (anymore), but have no where else to go. Do we need to start with a less expensive “ly-ing in” place or consider alternative “treatment” for such people. It would be far cheaper to pay rent and for a part-time nurse than to keep a well person in a hospital bed needed for emergencies.

What do Barbadians think? New, old or re-organisation?

The above article was submitted by a BFP reader… who didn’t say whether or not to publish their name in credit. Let us know at barbadosfreepress@yahoo.com

Further Reading

BFP: Your Child Is Sick: Welcome To Barbados Queen Elizabeth Hospital

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90 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Health

Nation News “Breaks” Blackwater Barbados Story A Year After Barbados Underground Blog

Eleven months ago, our friend David at Barbados Underground blog wrote about the infamous US Mercenary Company Blackwater having a Barbados connection.

The reporters at the Nation News must have seen that BU story and the Guardian UK story that it referenced. They simply must have. Why didn’t they write about it? Perhaps the last BLP government wouldn’t permit it.

Now, the Nation News is “breaking” a story that is almost a year old, and that, frankly, was better covered by Barbados Underground.

Just another day of “professional” journalism at the Nation News!

Further Reading

Barbados Underground: Nation Newspaper Breaks Blackwater Story Almost Eleven Months After Original Story

16 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Freedom Of The Press, Military

Whaloss! Barbados Land At BDS$543 Per Square Foot!

At first I thought it must be a misprint!

‘Caribbee Beach Hotel and land, Hastings, Christ Church’.

‘Offering you the chance to own a piece of prime South Coast beachfront property in Barbados’
‘Caribbee Hotel and adjoining land are being sold as commercial property’.
‘Approximately 46,000 sq. ft.
$25,000,000

Barbados Advocate Saturday 23rd August 2008, page 25.

So I then went to the website of the real estate agent mentioned.

Sure enough, the same description – Sale Price $12,500,000 with underneath ‘rates are quoted in U.S. dollars’

BDS$543 per square foot.

This is perhaps a classic example of why we have lost 29 hotels over the past fifteen years.

Of course, I could not blame the owners. They see the opportunity of realising a massive profit where some buyers appear to be willing (and able) to pay almost any price.

But where is our long term tourism future heading?

Adrian Loveridge

BFP Comments…

BDS$543 per square foot sure puts a new perspective on the lands sold by the Board of Directors of the Kingsland Corporation for 16 cents a square foot!

See: Barbados Land Sold At 16 Cents Per Square Foot! Keltruth Blog Exposes Land Fraud In Barbados

16 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Offshore Investments, Real Estate

Sunday Morning and The Power And Emotion Of Bajan Photography

Sunday morning. The boys are playing and the air smells fresh as I sip the last of my Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee and watch the rain move across the island. The best wife in the world has just asked what I want for breakfast and given me a little wink and a smile.

Yes, it always is a good idea to come home early on a Saturday night. No gallivanting after work, just straight home to my woman and the little ones is the best policy. Works every time! 😉

Sunday morning, cruising the web and I came across Ian Bourne’s blog where I found a marvelous article on a Barbados photography show that moved my soul.

Thank you Ian, for covering some of the important things in life that the regular news media and the rest of us miss.

Now… how to squeeze Robert to bring me more of this coffee?

Marcus on a Sunday morn…

Bajan Reporter: Barbadians exposed to Photography matching Old Masters’ paintings at Lancaster Gallery

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Filed under Art, Barbados

Olympics President Jacques Rogge Rips Usain Bolt For His Victory Celebration – Ignores China’s Human Rights Violations, Lies, Murders and Forced Abortions

IOC President Ignores True Symbolism Of China Olympics

IOC President Ignores True Symbolism Of China Olympics

“Jacques Rogge is so bought, so compromised, the president of the IOC doesn’t have the courage to criticize China for telling a decade of lies to land itself these Olympic Games.

All the promises made to get these Games — on Tibet, Darfur, pollution, worker safety, freedom of expression, dissident rights — turned out to be phony, perhaps as phony as the Chinese gymnasts’ birthdates Rogge was way too slow to investigate.

One of the most powerful men in sports turned the world away from his complicity. Instead, he has flexed his muscles by unloading on a powerless sprinter from a small island nation.

Rogge’s ripping of Usain Bolt’s supposed showboating in two of the most electrifying gold-medal performances of these Games has to be one of the most ill-timed and gutless acts in the modern history of the Olympics…”

… continue reading Dan Wetzel of Yahoo! Sports shredding and dicing IOC bully Jacques Rogge link here.

A Pity That IOC’s Jacques Rogge Is Blind To The Communist Despots Of China

When the fastest human in the world gave a little “take that!” to the also-rans so far behind him, that was as fine a demonstration of the competitive spirit of the Olympics as I’ve seen in a long time.

In these days where western schools are doing everything to make sure that no child’s “feelings” are hurt by losing a competition or failing an exam, where children are taught that being number one is something to be hidden, it is good to see the raw human spirit of competition and victory rise as it did in Usain Bolt.

God made Usain Bolt fast – but it took years of hard work and the desire to WIN for the man to be what he is… the fastest runner the world has ever seen.

Jacques Rogge lives a life that is far removed from reality. His remarks against one of the most outstanding athletes in the world illustrate all that is wrong with the Olympics.

In the coming years, the China Olympics will be remembered for two things: the super-human performances of Usain Bolt and a handful of other athletes… and how the Olympic organisation ignored Communist China’s human rights violations, lies, murders and forced abortions.

Because for the IOC, it is all about control of the show and money. If this Olympics has taught us anything, it is that the IOC and China’s despots have much in common. They have to keep the athletes in check because both China’s and the IOC’s corrupted vision of what the Olympics should be falls apart the moment that the athletes open their mouths or in the case of Usain Bolt, show what one individual can accomplish.

Usain Bolt can do ONE THING To Slap Jacques Rogge, the IOC and Communist China’s despots right in the face…

… Come home and under controlled conditions, smash his own Olympic record!

76 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Jamaica, Olympics, Sports