Barbados Health Ministry fails to ensure Dialysis clinics have back-up generators

Two out of our three dialysis clinics lack a generator

by Doctor Feelgood

Forget all the excuses: somebody has to be in charge of the health system. In Barbados that person is Minister of Health Donville Inniss. (photo above) After almost 5 years in power, Inniss and the DLP government own any operational problems. Any management failures are theirs. Any failure to budget for sufficient inspections to maintain standards is theirs.

“I sat there watching my blood sitting motionless in tubes outside my body and precious time running out. With two minutes to spare before the situation became critical and with the look of panic etched on the nurse’s face, I sent my wife and kids a bb message saying ‘I love U’….

Soca band leader George Jones describes what happened in Barbados Today’s Close Call. Also see Standard Care.

Sometime I’d love to see Minister Inniss (or any government minister from any party) simply tell the truth and say: “The Ministry of Health should have ensured that this critical health care supplier complied with the standard, but we did not. I apologise. We will now re-inspect each dialysis facility and ensure more regular inspections are done in the future. We will now test back-up power systems during our inspections.”

Instead, we get a blame the victim speech from the Health Minister. Yes, according to Donville Inniss it’s the victim’s fault for needing dialysis. Anything to deflect the story away from the fact that of the three dialysis clinics in Barbados, two operate without backup generators. Standards? I call that a third world standard.

Also during his Barbados Today interview, Minister Inniss started talking about how there was no power failure at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and the QEH has backup generators. Was Inniss playing stupid to spin the story? He knows that this nearly averted disaster didn’t happen at the QEH: it happened at a private dialysis center that is supposed to be licensed, inspected and adhering to Ministry of Health standards.

Yes, patients almost died during a power outage last week because Minister of Health Donville Inniss and his staff failed to do their jobs. The public wouldn’t know about this except that one of the patients was George Jones of the Soca band Square One and he put his harrowing tale up on Facebook.

All that talk about making Barbados a destination for health care tourism? Without real actions to set, maintain and enforce standards, it’s all wish talk and nothing else.


Filed under Barbados, Health

17 responses to “Barbados Health Ministry fails to ensure Dialysis clinics have back-up generators

  1. Diabetes is a disease not a death sentence.

    This sounds so 3rd world. I would never dream that my dialysis center would be set up so that if the power fails I die!

    I checked with them and they showed me the backup generator and the bank of batteries that are a second backup if the generator won’t start.

    This situation in Barbados sounds like the plastic surgery horror stories you used to hear coming out of Mexico and India before people decided it wasn’t worth the risk.

  2. Nurse

    Inniss needs to spend more money on advertising. That way the problems look better, smaller. More people die but what the hell! So long as those tourists keep coming and the Bajans shut the f up!

    Queen Elizabeth Hospital full-page advertisement a poor use of our tax dollars

  3. 37

    Seriously, what do you good people really expect from the proprietor of a XXX web site featuring bestiality etc? Donville Inniss is a cuntsistent guy!!

  4. just want to know

    The hospital has been operating like this for years, don’t listen to the PR saying it is improving. Right now I know some one who has had x rays done because of cancer since June/July and can’t get a result from Xray department, and to top it off the CT Scan machine not working. If some one want a Ct Scan done, you will have to pay $i800 for it, but hooray it will be reported on. All the politicians don’t really care, because they can pick up & go to New York or Florida or where ever and get treated at tax payers expense.

  5. Breadfruit

    CT Scan machine wasn’t working in January when a friend was taken to QEH & they lost all her medical records she needed for insurance, but as most of the Medical Records Department seem to be in cardboard boxes I’m not surprised

  6. Proud Bajan

    Oh dear

  7. Proud Bajan

    I find BFP comments so sickening and full of vile. George Jones deliberately came out with this horrific story in amanner that sought to give the impression that it was the QEH where he was being dialysized. This started a serious of condemnation of the QEH and the public healthcare system.

    Minister Inniss simply responded in a public forum (not Face Book) and made it clear that Mr Jones was not dialysized at the QEH. The Minister then went on to speak of the challenges which the QEH has in meeting the needs of all who may have kidney failure resulting in a need for dialysis. He also gave the options which the QEH is pursuing, including PD (home based dialysis) and kidney transplant (organ donor).

    I read BT article with Minister comments and found it very frank but sincere.

    The Minister did not ask Mr Jones or anyone who is presently on dialysis to start leading a healthy lifestyle. He simply asked that those who presently seem healthy should take heed of situations like Mr Jones’ own and start to lead a healthy lifestyle if not thye may end up needed dialysis which can cost up to $5,000 per month!

    I note that Minister Inniss is the most viciously attacked Minister on BFP and I wonder what he has done to you guys who are behind this blog site. However, I would say that he has been the most honest and forthright Minister of Health in post-Independence and the one who is prepared to make tough and sometimes unpopular decisions. For that he has my vote next election (even though I am a BLP member).

    Healthcare is one of the most expensive services which the state can provide. Bajans have never and will never pay enough taxes that can guarantee them world class health services for free. That is a harsh reality which we refuse to face.

    And if we want to talk about taxes and access to free healthcare – George Jones has not paid any taxes in Barbados for over 15 years! Ask him to show how much he has paid or contributed to this economy over the years. He lives in the Cayman Islands and does not get free healthcare. And if he want decent healthcare he then has to travel to Miami!

    Let us stop the personal attacks on Ministers and have sober and enlightening discussions.

  8. Proud Bajan

    In respect of the Ministry of Health inspecting all health facilities, it is just not practical at all times. Did Mr Jones or anyone report their concerns about the private facility to the Ministry of Health or did they just come on Face Book and BFP to vent?

    We have a duty as ordinary Bajans to stop the constant bitching and help work on improvements.

  9. Third world dialysis

    Interesting to hear Proud Bajan say it isn’t practical to have the Ministry of Health inspecting all private medical facilities! Thank you, I’ll remember that when I consider traveling to Barbados for health tourism and some offshore medical care.

    Mr. Jones story makes it clear that the facility he was attending did not have any backup power supply in place. i.e.: it was never there. This is not an instance of the Ministry of Health inspecting a facility and later it’s backup generator failed to function: it is a case where the Ministry of Health licensed a facility that lacked a backup power supply.

    Third rate. Totally third rate by the MOH.

  10. moonpie

    I think that BFP’s problem with Health Minister Donville Inniss is that he was (is?) involved in the online sex industry with some very raunchy work indeed. (animal sex, pregnant women porn, 18year old teen hard core porn) Inniss won’t come clean about it and the island press is too scared to mention it. Wouldn’t happen in the UK or America, the press would be all over the story.

  11. Had the power not come back on what would have happened? The nurse would have disconnected him from the machine, and then hooked him up again (to a fresh machine) when the power came back up again.

    He would have survived the loss of blood (given that he was functioning without it in his body anyway), the blood that was inside the dialysis machine may have spoiled, but it would not have affected his blood in his body.

    In an ABSOLUTE WORST CASE SCENARIO he could have been given a blood transfusion to make up for the lost unit of blood in the machine.

    I call b#llcr@p

  12. 212

    Proud Bajan, the problem we have with Inniss is his direct involvement with freak aspects of the sex industry. Do you consider that when not thinking but talking positively about Inniss’ worth? You dope.

  13. A father.

    Mr. Inniss has no fear of the Bajan reporters doing a story on his sex online business. Wherever he speaks he should be challenged on this. Farmers, bring your goats! Goats will remind voters of how Inniss made his money with sex sites featuring pregnant women, teenagers and animals.

    Bravo, Inniss! “Anything for a dollar” is the lesson you gave to Bajans.

  14. BA 88/98

    Does Inniss still do the sex website thing?


    Well can build a 20 Million dollar building for health , But nothing on the inside to save your Life, No one went shopping for things to plug in to the walls , Looks nice when you drive by.
    Nice place to die, they want more non Bajans on the Island for they look at us as a bill that is better of DEAD., More Fraud as the builders and the BLP AND the DLP walk off with the money.
    US Military put up tents and buy what need to save Lives not walls.. MASH UNITS

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