Tag Archives: Barbados Dialysis

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

A reader comments on Dialysis at Barbados Queen Elizabeth Hospital

The following comment was left by BFP reader “decent boy” on our recent article Has it come to this in Barbados? Dialysis patients turned away due to shortage of needles, gloves, standard supplies.

“Decent boy” seems to have an insider’s perspective and we thought his comment might produce some worthwhile discussion. Take it away “decent boy”…


The reality is that Barbadians have come to expect international best practice standards totally free of cost, whilst Government has serious limitations on the amount of funds available. The most complex surgeries such as open heart surgery, coupled with treatment like dialysis are not cheap and cannot be gotten in most developed countries for free.

“The unavailability of some supplies in the AKU dept of QEH was not due to a lack of funds. It was due to improper* coordination between the Procurement, AKU and Finance Dept.”

I am very familiar with the issues. Furthermore, there was no compromising on the health of the patients on dialysis. The nepthologist took the decision to reduce the number of dialysis from 3 to 2 per week. Once patients eat the right foods and do the other things that doctor orders, there was no risk to patients.

Furthermore, at a cost of $52,000 per patient per year, and with the space constraint; one can appreciate the miracles at the QEH. Would someone tell us about the immigrants who have contributed no taxes to this economy but get dialysis for free; or the Bajans who have lived abroad all of their lives and because they cannot afford dialysis in the US move back to Barbados to get it.

I am satisfied that this Government is taking health seriously, and I agree with the policies announced by the Minister to date. He walks the place regularly and see for himself what is happening. Unlike others, he is not a snob, and can be seen hanging around talking with all and sundry, trying to understand what is happening.

The electrical upgrades, refurbished cafeteria, upgraded doctors lounge, additional posts, two new ambulances, a new cardiac suite, getting MICU and NICU suites back in operation are a few of the facts under this new Minister of Health and DLP Government. Staff at all levels are respected and embraced. Patient care is becoming the priority. Barbados’ healthcare system is not perfect, but it certainly is good. We just need to take our own health a lot more seriously and pay more taxes towards healthcare.

Editor’s note: * The original comment said “a proper” but we think the writer meant “improper”. Decent boy, please let us know. Thanks!


Filed under Barbados, Consumer Issues, Health