Minister of Health Donville Inniss announced Tuesday morning that our government has committed the country to building a new hospital. We pray that our current government and the succeeding government(s) receive the wisdom and strength to continue with vital project.
If we can make it happen in five years, I’ll be surprised but pleased. Most people don’t realise the enormity of the task – or how much commitment and effort this will require.
The danger is this: as a people we have been spoiled by two decades of politicians who bribed us with our own money until the cupboard was bare and the loans dried up.
After a generation of artificially living the high life, are the people of Barbados willing to put up with fewer circuses and parties in exchange for a new hospital?
For twenty years, we’ve had government giveaways by the score. We had community group funding. We had huge Crop Over celebrations. We had a Cricket World Cup party that cost us… well.. we don’t know because they never told us. Was it a billion dollar party? Probably. Blown to hell in three weeks of some of the worst cricket I’ve ever seen. Not to mention that “finale” in the dark. A generation of government contracts awarded to friends without bids. Hundreds of millions in project over-runs with not so much as an explanation from any government, whether DLP or BLP.
And then there were the little projects that bled us by a thousand cuts. Remember the $400,000 privy built by Government Minister Liz Thompson’s spouse? Remember the two million dollar plan that gave weed-trimmers to the unemployed boys on the block so they could each have a business cutting the lawns of the rich? That worked out well, didn’t it?
And that’s only a sample of the money the politicians shot to hell to keep us amused.
It’s all gone now, folks – but we still need a new hospital and the economy is in a graveyard spiral. (“Graveyard spiral” is aviation talk, but I’m sure you get the meaning.)
Our Queen Elizabeth Hospital is by any standard, a dump. Ineffective. Wasteful. A national embarrassment. A new coat of paint can only cover so much and that place has seen more coats of paint than Owen Arthur has seen empty bottles.
The condition of the hospital is one of the reasons why a beautiful country like Barbados can’t attract foreign nurses. Think about it… with a modern hospital paying a living wage, Barbados would have well qualified and experienced medical personnel lining up to live and work here.
Barbados desperately needs a new hospital. By the time the new one opens its doors we will be in crisis if we aren’t already.
So good for the Thompson government for making a decision that should have been made five years ago by the Arthur/Mottley BLP government. The BLP chose cricket circuses for the masses instead of making the tough decisions to build hospitals and watermains.
Let’s hope and pray that the Thompson government and each citizen remains committed to the new hospital for the long run.
Nation News: New hospital in the works