Tag Archives: Barbados Health Care

Gardasil HPV vaccine controversy continues

“Orchestrated Campaign of Intimidation” or a lively debate?

Katie Couric gets hammered for daring to challenge big business.

Mercola.com: Gardasil and the Public Flogging of Katie Couric

BFP’s thanks to Larry


Filed under Barbados, Health

Unregulated gift giving between doctors and patients follows an old Bajan tradition


There once was a time on this island when doctors did not drive BMW and Mercedes autos. There was a time when a doctor would go about his visits and stay for a meal, and perhaps receive nothing more than a meal because that was all there was. Several weeks later maybe a kingfish would be delivered to the doctor’s home and gratefully received because the doctor, like everyone, was struggling too. At Christmas time especially people would drop off what they could, and if a doctor’s son needed a better job, there was likely one to be found. If a tyre puncture needed attention as likely as not the doctor would return to the garage to find that someone had already taken care of the bill.

Those days are gone, but the gift giving has not gone. If anything the ‘gift giving’ between doctors and their patients has ramped up to impressive levels both in frequency and in the value of the bribes er, ‘gifts’ received by the doctors.

Why has this happened? Is it because the patients and citizens value the doctors and freely supplement the doctors’ salaries out of respect and thanks?

Perhaps…. but where do we divide the grateful gift givers from the subtle pressures by doctors that they could arrange that test a little earlier ‘if only the radiologist would be reasonable’ ???

We know how things work ’bout hey, and so does the Barbados Association of Medical Practitioners. That’s why the BAMP wants to address this ‘gift giving’ topic as soon as possible – because they say it has the potential to undermine the system with fraud and bribery.

The docs are right. Now, if we could only convince the politicians to do the same!

Please read the article Docs playing dirty at Barbados Today Online, but if it’s not there, we’ll have it here…

Docs playing dirty

by Emmanuel Joseph

The unregulated practice of gift-giving between doctors and patients in Barbados is creating fears of possible fraud and bribery in the minds of the hierarchy of the local medical representative body. Continue reading


Filed under Barbados, Consumer Issues, Corruption, Health

Is Chief Medical Officer Joy St. John sending the right message to Barbados?

And… is Minister of Health Donville Inniss the right man for the job?

Further Reading

Barbados Health Minister Donville Inniss: King of Pregnant Women Porn?

* Thanks to a reader for the comic. Thanks to the Barbados Advocate for the photo!


Filed under Barbados, Health

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

Heart attack in Barbados – tourist praises Pirate’s Inn staff, ambulance crew – slams Queen Elizabeth Hospital

What happens when a tourist has a heart attack at a Barbados hotel?

Having a heart attack must be a frightening experience, and it is probably all the more frightening when it happens in a hotel thousands of miles from home and far from friends, family and your own doctor.

That’s what recently happened to a Canadian tourist to Barbados, who fortunately had a happy ending to a bad situation. ‘Will-Sandy’ tells of his (her?) experience in several postings on the TripAdvisor Barbados message board where others have been quick to join the discussion and recount their own medical emergency experiences in Barbados and elsewhere. Their extensive discussions make for some interesting reading by tourists and Bajans alike. It is always fascinating to see how others view Barbados. Hopefully the Barbados Tourism Authority and Misery Ministry of Health also pays attention to these discussions.

“Pirates Inn the staff was fantastic, so professional and knew what to do, when the Ambulance arrived they where also very professional and reassuring…”

Canadian tourist and heart attack victim ‘Will-Sandy’ on TripAdvisor posting Note of Caution – Barbados

Tourist heart attack victim waits 12 hours to see doctor at Queen Elizabeth Hospital

To read Will-Sandy’s account is to be at the same time proud of how the Pirate’s Inn and ambulance staff looked after a guest to our shores, but ashamed of what happened to the tourist after they arrived at our largest medical facility.

According to the heart attack victim, the Triage Nurse did not know what a stent was.

That simple fact should cause all readers to pause for a second: the Triage Nurse in our largest medical facility didn’t know what a stent was. I know what a stent is and I’m a mechanic, not a medical professional. Question: does the QEH still employ nurses from Nigeria? Just asking!

Then the heart attack victim waited 12 hours to see a doctor.

There is another statement that should make you pause – a tourist in the middle of having a heart attack had to wait 12 hours before seeing a doctor. That is disgusting, outrageous and completely unacceptable by any standard. But that is what happened to this tourist visiting Barbados, and some of the other medical emergency stories on the TripAdvisor website tell similar tales of experiences in Barbados.

The Barbados brand and tourism-based economy cannot thrive and survive when such stories become commonplace on the internet. No longer can Barbados insure our brand reputation simply by inviting a bunch of journalists for freebie trips every winter. We must walk the walk and upgrade the tourism experience because increasingly travelers are able to use the internet to discover the differences between hype and reality when they are choosing their next vacation destination.

Further Reading

Pirate’s Inn website

June 11, 2010: Typical toilet, Barbados Queen Elizabeth Hospital

August 27, 2009: Has it come to this in Barbados? Dialysis patients turned away due to shortage of needles, gloves, standard supplies

September 19, 2007: Your Child Is Sick: Welcome To Barbados Queen Elizabeth Hospital


Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Health

The fallacy of “Community based care” for psychiatric patients

“This is all budget driven and it will turn out very badly”

by One Who Knows

There are two stories in Barbados Today that should be required reading for every business person, landlord, tourism worker, shop clerk or shopper who has ever had trouble from the mentally ill vagrants who prowl the city looking for their next victim. The stories should be required reading anytime you smell urine in the air while walking past the War Memorial or find human waste on the beach.

The Psychiatric Hospital announced they are cutting 230 beds over the next ten years and they intend to do this by implementing the same Community based care model that has proven to be a disaster throughout major cities in the UK and America.

People who used to be looked after and did moderately well with daily care at hospital residences now populate the ranks of the “homeless” throughout the UK and the USA.

These poor souls used to have health care, hygiene facilities, nutritional standards and behaviour monitoring with professionals ready to intervene. Now they sleep under bridges and in parks: malnourished, without medication, filthy, lonely and socially outcast. Their mental health always slides on the outside. Always.

That is the outcome for the vast majority of “former” psychiatric patients tossed out on the street due to budget cuts. That is the history of “community based” mental health care.

Community Care does not exist except on paper during budget proposals

The fallacy is that you can cut the budget for looking after psychiatric wrecks by shoving them into the community and providing them with “community support”.

This word “support” is never defined by minimum standards of care, budget or monitoring to ensure patient and community safety. This “community support” is a vapourish term that means anything people want it to mean at any time.

“Community Support” always ends up meaning that people who need serious attention now live next door to you and your children. It means that patients who can barely make it through the day in a professionally staffed hospital residence are now on their own.

Model patients in hospital residences can become dangerous when the system tosses them onto the street. Read the big city papers anywhere in the USA or the UK and you’ll see the same story over and over again: After an incident where the patient or an innocent victim is hurt, authorities talk about how well the patient was doing and how this incident is an anomaly in an otherwise effective programme of Community-based care etc etc etc.

Health Minister Donville Inniss and the other proponents of Community based care for psychiatric patients never talk about increased costs that happens in other areas when the health system unloads its burdens upon the community. They never talk about the increased costs for policing and ambulance services. They never talk about increased crime and violence in the community. They never talk about the deterioration in the quality of life for ordinary people and about mothers who don’t let their children play in front of the house anymore unless someone is right there all the time.

Community based care proponents never talk about what happens when two or three borderline patients move into a neighbourhood and disrupt the lives of hundreds of people every day.

Read the two Barbados Today stories and know that this is all budget driven by the government: not driven by the health care professionals who are trying to cope with the budget reductions and know how this will turn out.

Reduction in accommodation Psychiatric Hospital’s goal

Helping the homeless

Remember my words: Community based care for mental patients is a fallacy that always turns out badly. Always.

Submitted by One who knows


Filed under Barbados, Health, Human Rights

Barbados Queen Elizabeth Hospital cannot pay millions owed to suppliers

Life Rule #1: If you don’t pay suppliers, they stop supplying

Our Queen Elizabeth Hospital is facing shortages of supplies because it owes and cannot pay millions of dollars to multiple suppliers.

Former BLP Health Minister Jerome Walcott is all upset and says patient care is being compromised. From what we’ve seen in the past under Walcott’s rule, that’s probably true.

Current DLP Health Minister Pornville (Donville) Inniss (photo above) says there’s nothing new here and he’s “not aware that the level of care has been compromised by indebtedness to suppliers”. Inniss is correct that the QEH hasn’t been paying its bills on time for years, but whether we’re running out of cancer treatment or rubber gloves he’s wrong about patient care not being compromised – for it surely is.

“Inniss says that the Government of Barbados will honour the debts to suppliers but he didn’t exactly pull out a cheque book to make it happen.”

We wonder if Minister Inniss has been back to inspect the hospital conditions since we alerted him last year that things were so bad that the hospital staff weren’t even cleaning the toilets. Yuk!

Barbados Queen Elizabeth Hospital Washroom under Health Minister Walcott – “Progress & Quality Of Life” As Defined By The Arthur/Mottley BLP Government.

Let’s remember the QEH under Health Minister Walcott

Yes, the QEH has all gone to hell, but Walcott shouldn’t be so self righteous because it was his BLP government that chose to spend hundreds of millions on a failed cricket extravaganza rather than making health care and clean water a priority.

As one reader related the horror tale of her child at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital when Walcott was Minister of Health…

“I don’t know how much the government spent on Cricket World Cup, but every time I go past that big white elephant Kensington Oval I think of my son and all the tears and fear over that filthy, falling down slum we call our hospital.”

“None of the ward toilets where my son was had paper, none had soap or paper towels for drying. Everyone must bring their own.”

“I had to buy “Intrasite gel” for my son’s wounds because the hospital had none that they could give me after 3 days. This was $20 a bottle and it only lasted a few days because I and my friends ended up changing the dressings ourselves when we found they were not being changed enough. I had to buy a box of sterile gloves to change his dressings. I bought a small package at first but the nurses kept “borrowing” the gloves because they were short of gloves so I bought a box.”

… from BFP’s Your Child Is Sick: Welcome To Barbados Queen Elizabeth Hospital

We’re out of money, friends. And it seems the only answers our politicians Glorious Leaders can come up with is 1/ Deny the problem exists, and 2/ Borrow more money to stave off disaster.

Walcott or Inniss: It doesn’t seem to matter which one is Health Minister because nothing changes.


Filed under Barbados, Health, Politics

Barbados welcomes “bullied” UK Hospital Director Gulzar Mufti

Will Doctor Mufti’s insistence on performance monitoring cause difficulties in Barbados?

When the Director of Medway Maritime Hospital resigned, it was because medical staff came after him “like seven or eighteen hyenas getting together to kill a lion.” So says our newest medical professional on the island: Doctor Gulzar Mufti.

According to a UK newspaper account, the bullying was in response to Doctor Mufti’s introduction of staff performance monitoring.

Monitoring staff performance? Wuhloss!

If Doctor Mufti is the kind of professional who recognizes that there must be standards and that normal monitoring is necessary to encourage folks to comply with standards – well, he’s just the type of person we need more of.

We welcome Doctor Mufti to Bim and hope that everything works out so fine fine fine for him. The only question we have is whether our medical personnel will be any more accepting of performance monitoring than the staff at Medway Maritime Hospital. After all, we’re not so good at all that monitoring and standards an such ’bout hey.

If he’s successful bringing performance monitoring to Barbados medicine, perhaps we could put him in charge of implementing the promised Environmental or Integrity legislation.

Good luck to Doctor Mufti! Something tells me he might need it if he stands fast to his standards.

Further Reading

Medway Messenger:  Hospital ‘attempts to silence’ surgeon over bullying report


Filed under Barbados, Health

Health Minister Donville Inniss: “Legal immigrant? Pay tax? Get Stuffed on health care!”

Donville Inniss: Do you recognize the above website photo?

Happy Mother’s Day

Without repentance, there can be no forgiveness. That it true.

Health Minister Inniss has not repented…

by Passin Thru

Let’s say that a person legally immigrates to Barbados on a marital or employment status. They pay their taxes, have their pay deducted under the National Insurance Scheme. But five, six, seven, nine, ten years go by and their application for permanent residence is still “being processed”.

Then they get injured in an auto accident, or perhaps just start to get older and need some health care.

Health Minister Inniss has an answer: Immigrants needing health care should go back to where they came from because they are not welcome here.

Maybe that’s not true for everyone. Maybe if you were one of the women working in Barbados-based internet pornography you could get still free health care. Maybe I’m wrong.

Perhaps when Health Minister Inniss ran those pornographic websites, his women who performed sex acts online that he profited from were able to claim free health care in Barbados.

I don’t know.

I do know that Minister of Health Donville Inniss recently admitted that the entire immigration system is beyond control with 15,000 files backlog. The words “beyond control” are mine. The admission of 15,000 files backlog comes from Minister Inniss.

I have no answers, but I want to know if the sex workers who performed on the internet and made Inniss money were covered for free health care.

Minister Inniss: over to you.

Further Reading

Barbados Free Press requests that folks read the article at the Nation, but we have to reprint the entire article online here because sometimes the Nation removes or modifies articles to change history. Very naughty! Continue reading


Filed under Barbados, Ethics, Human Rights

Barbados Health Care denied to visitors: Justified? Racist? Two readers have their say…

In the past week the Caribbean has been abuzz with stories and opinion pieces about the Barbados government’s decision to deny free health care to visitors – with the exception of real emergencies, of course.

Two of our readers chime in with their five and an half pennies. First up: Kammie Holder…

Barbados Health Care in The Amputation Capital of the World!

by Kammie Holder

When in Ghana a couple months ago I cannot remember seeing obese persons. What I did see were plenty of markets selling vegetables and not a brand name fast food restaurant in sight.  In Barbados our lifestyle coupled with our “progress” has led us to the enviable position of being the amputation capital of the world and the country in the Caribbean with a highest population of obese persons. Those are my observations and if the stats prove me wrong it won’t be by much. Continue reading


Filed under Barbados, Health, Human Rights, Immigration

Sparman – Ishmael Affair: Queen Elizabeth Hospital cancels suspension, lawsuits fly

The Nation is reporting that Senior Consultant Cardiologist Dr. Richard Ishmael is fully back on the job after his suspension was lifted by the QEH Board. Doctor Ishmael (photo above) filed a lawsuit against the hospital and perhaps others, although information is sketchy right now.

Minister of Health Donville Inniss is doing his best to distance himself from the chaos, but we don’t think that’s possible. Minister Inniss punched the tar baby when he sued Dr. Ishmael and his hands aren’t going to come unstuck anytime soon.

And speaking of Minister Inniss: his scripted “soft questions only” radio appearance didn’t answer anything to do with government funding of the Sparman private clinic. It’s an important question because many voters believe that public money should go to public health care first – especially considering how badly the Queen Elizabeth Hospital needs repair and replacement.

Here are some of our background articles on a story that deserves your continuing attention…

December 30, 2010: The Sparman Clinic Affair – Questions about money, conflicts of interest

December 22, 2010: The Sparman Affair: We print Dr. Ishmael’s letter for which he was suspended and sued.

December 21, 2010: The strange case of Doctor Ishmael and Mister Sparman


Filed under Barbados, Consumer Issues, Corruption, Ethics, Health, Politics

Health Minister Inniss: BLP lacks the “Moral Authority” to comment on St. John Polyclinic

BLP abandoned St. John Polyclinic for 14 years.

Minister of Health Donville Inniss makes a good point in today’s Barbados Advocate. BLP candidate Hudson Griffith is accusing the DLP of neglect because the current government hasn’t finished the St. John Polyclinic since they came to power 3 years ago. Mr. Griffith fails to mention that his Barbados Labour Party let the clinic rot for the 14 years they formed the government.

For the record, we agree with Minister Inniss: actions taken by people, parties and governments in the recent past can harm or remove their “moral authority” and credibility to speak on current concerns. Continue reading


Filed under Barbados, Ethics, Health, Politics

Barbados National Union of Public Workers building mini-hospital

Barbados Queen Elizabeth Hospital guest toilet. Yes, that's long term gummy urine/feces splashing, then drying, then the next layer from the next A&E "guest".

The NUPW shouldn’t have a need for a health care facility, but they do.

“The NUPW members are welcome to do what they want with their money and I congratulate them. Just don’t ask me for my tax dollars if my family is not welcome at your new facility.”

When your organization has over 20,000 members and the public hospital and health system isn’t doing the job for your members and their families: you start to build your own health care facilities and system. Because you can.

That’s exactly what is happening with the National Union of Public Workers. The organisation announced that it is building a “three-storey, ultra modern diagnostic and treatment facility” at their Dalkeith, St. Michael complex.

NUPW is mum on the cost, number of beds and number of surgeries in the facility, but describes the project as “major” and says that financing is in place… Continue reading


Filed under Barbados, Consumer Issues, Economy, Health, Human Rights, Politics

The Sparman Clinic Affair – Questions about money, conflicts of interest

“The lower the cardiac care capabilities are at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, the more money the private Sparman Clinic will make.”

“How many patients have been transferred from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital to the Sparman Clinic since July 2009? How did the transfers come about?”

… BFP staffers Marcus, Robert & Cliverton discussing the Sparman Clinic Affair

Who are the financiers and beneficial owners of The Sparman Clinic Inc.?

  • Did the Government of Barbados provide any financing or guarantees regarding the Sparman Clinic?
  • Are any Sparman owners or personnel also Government officials or Queen Elizabeth Hospital employees or Board members with potential conflicts of interest?
  • Have any Government officials, Queen Elizabeth Hospital workers or their immediate family members received any payments or gifts from Doctor Sparman?
  • Has the Sparman Clinic accepted any Barbados citizens for free cardiac treatment as promised in 2009 when government financial concessions were provided?
  • Why hasn’t the government opened the new $5.2 million dollar Cardiac Suite at the QEH as promised by Health Minister Inniss in July 2009 “on an urgent basis”?
  • Have the automated external defibrillators been strategically positioned throughout the country and 200 persons trained to operate them as promised by Health Minister Inniss in July 2009?
  • How many patients have been transferred from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital to the Sparman Clinic since July 2009? How did the transfers come about?
  • Dr. Ishmael’s letter of complaint details a similar incident where a complaint was made about Dr. Sparman to the Medical Council of Barbados. What are the details and the outcome of that complaint?

(L - r) Director of the Sparman Clinic, Cardiologist, Dr. Alfred Sparman; Minister of Health, Donville Inniss, his wife, Gail Inniss and the Minister's Personal Assistant, Cindy Downes at the start of the official opening of the $20 million facility for cardiac care located at No. 4, 6th Avenue Belleville St. Michael (photo & caption: Barbados Government Information Service)

  • Given the controversial and troubling public history of Doctor Alfred Sparman dating back ten or more years, why did the Minister of Health and government think it wise in 2009 to so closely associate government with Dr. Sparman and his clinic?
  • On what basis did the Minister of Health call Dr. Sparman a “cardiologist”?

Doctor Richard G. Ishmael pays the price for asking reasonable questions about corruption.

Doctor Richard G. Ishmael was suspended by the Queen Elizabeth Hospital for daring to put into writing his observations and concerns about Dr. Alfred Sparman’s actions and qualifications – and also his questions about the troubling apparent relationships between Doctor Sparman, the Director of Medical Services, the Minister of Health and unknown staff at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital acting as “moles” for The Sparman Clinic. Continue reading


Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Ethics, Health, Politics

The Sparman Affair: We print Dr. Ishmael’s letter for which he was suspended and sued.

Can Barbados handle the truth… whatever it is?

A copy of Dr. Richard Ishmael’s letter along with 16 other pages of information has been received by every newspaper and blog in Barbados and who knows where else. All anonymously sent, of course.

We’re going to start by printing Dr. Ishmael’s 3 page letter and then see where we go from there.

The letter contains allegations against Dr. Sparman, the Minister of Health and others – and also reveals a past complaint against Sparman that appears to have been covered up. We blacked out the name of a patient and the patient’s wife who both figure prominently in the story.

Remember that as a result of Dr. Ishmael sending the letter, the Queen Elizabeth Hospital suspended Dr. Ishmael and, according to many Barbados physicians, put many critically ill heart patients at serious risk. The letter raises many large and important questions, but our main concern is for the well being of the heart patients who are still at risk because their doctor is suspended.

See our previous article for some background: The strange case of Doctor Ishmael and Mister Sparman

Here is Dr. Ishmael’s letter. The downloads are about 200k each page…



Filed under Barbados, Ethics, Health, Politics

The strange case of Doctor Ishmael and Mister Sparman

Meet Doctor Sparman: Cardiologist, Registered Sex Offender

On Saturday, December 11, 2010, Barbados Free Press learned that Senior Consultant Cardiologist, Dr. Richard Ishmael had been suspended for writing a letter on hospital letterhead. What exactly the letter said, we don’t know. The Nation reported…

“Reports indicated that lawyers representing Health Minister Inniss and Sparman have issued an ultimatum to Ishmael to apologise by tomorrow and pay damages for his comments about them. Ishmael, who has been practising medicine for over 21 years, had been a high-profile figure during Thompson’s battle with pancreatic cancer.”

… from Nation News Ishmael Suspended

The next we heard was that patients were at risk due to the suspension of Dr. Ishmael. That seems reasonable to us given that Dr. Ishmael is one of a handful of cardiologists on the island. The QEH issued a totally unbelievable statement that since Dr. Ishmael’s suspension, the slack is being taken up via teleconferencing with a replacement in the USA. Now THAT really brings confidence to a parent hearing that!

Dr Clyde Cave, the acting head of the Department of Paediatrics, said that heart care at the QEH had been significantly compromised by Dr. Ishmaiel’s suspension and the lives of at least four critically ill children were at stake.

The apparent subject of Dr. Ishamel’s letter, Dr. Alfred Sparman, came to Barbados under a cloud in 2002, but earned the respect of patients and colleagues over the years. It is not often that a man who is still registered as a sexual offender in the USA, and has been convicted of using false names and “false statements and representations and engaged in fraud and deceit in gaining admission to practice” becomes a cardiologist in Barbados.

No sir. Highly uncommon for a person with Dr. Sparman’s background to practice medicine in Barbados. Continue reading


Filed under Barbados, Ethics, Health, Politics

Typical toilet, Barbados Queen Elizabeth Hospital


Guest toilet, QEH Accident & Emergency Department. Yes, that’s long term gummed urine/feces splashing, then drying, then the next layer from the next A&E “guest”.

UPDATED: July 7, 2013

With all the recent troubles at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital we thought that we could best comment on the situation by re-visiting an article we published three years ago.

After four years of DLP government, are things at the QEH any better? The Nation News says the situation is worse:

“The cash-strapped Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) continues to have to deal with faulty machinery, which is affecting its ability to provide proper health care to Barbadians…”

… from the Nation article July 6, 2013 QEH Breakdowns

Enjoy! (Just don’t sit down. Squat like everybody does.)

Also read BFP’s May 2012 article: Heart attack in Barbados – tourist slams Queen Elizabeth Hospital

Original article published June 11, 2010…

Dear Health Minister Donville Inniss…

Donville Inniss: needs to learn about leadership and clean hospital toilets.

Please head over to Ian Bourne’s Bajan Reporter website and read his new story St Michael West Central Constituency Report {Pt 2} – Donville Inniss: What QEH is he talking about?

There, Minister Inniss, you will find several current photos of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital including the above one. You will also find that Mr. Bourne has posted videos of your speech at the St Michael West Central Constituency Report and that he contrasts what you say with the reality of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. Continue reading


Filed under Barbados, Government, Health, Politics

Coroner should hold inquest into Queen Elizabeth Hospital death: Was it suicide? Patient confusion? Negligence?

The Nation newspaper declares Al Cumberbatch a “jumper” suicide – That’s convenient!


Look at the above Nation News website address for the paper’s story about the death of Al Cumberbatch: “QEH jumper dead”. That’s “jumper” not “faller”. Jumper – as in a person intentionally jumping to their death. I suppose that if Cumberbatch jumped he could have been intending to escape from five floors up – but that doesn’t make too much sense unless Mr. Cumberbatch was in a confused state of mind for some reason…

…Such as confusion caused by diabetes. (Google “diabetes confusion” or “diabetes delirium” and you’ll see how serious an issue this is.)

We read in the story that Mr. Cumberbatch was a diabetic and had been tied to his bed “restrained” by one wrist because he was “agitated” about being detained at the hospital.

So somebody, presumably medical personnel, knew he wanted to leave but also knew he should stay for treatment. That sounds to me like somebody determined that Mr. Cumberbatch was not capable of making proper decisions about his own medical treatment, health and personal safety. He was confused.

Yet Mr. Cumberbatch was left alone for enough time to free himself and plunge 5 stories to his death.

Or, was he indeed alone at the time?

Were enough staff on duty at the time he died… or was it one of those days when they run the floor with about half the personnel they truly should have? And if that’s the case, who’s fault is it? The poor overworked nurse who couldn’t be everywhere at the same time? The hospital administration? The BLP and DLP governments who chronically underfunded the hospital for the last 15 years?

How can we prevent this from happening again?

The hospital staff should not investigate themselves

So many questions – and that’s why there needs to be a Coroner’s Inquest into Mr. Cumberbatch’s death. Only by having a public and professional inquest can society can be sure that the true cause of Mr. Cumberbatch’s death is known – so steps can be taken to prevent another death.

We can’t trust the hospital administration and other personnel to investigate themselves. Whether they are good and honest people or not has nothing to do with it: justice and professionalism demand that there be an independent investigation – and that’s why the Coroner must step in as soon as possible to ensure that the investigation is independent, thorough and professional.

We don’t do Coroner’s Inquests in Barbados if the political or business elites are involved!

Barbados is a small island where everyone knows somebody who knows somebody. If you are “in” with the group of business and political elites, you’re “in” – and the rules of society change for you.

That is our burden on this island: that we have two sets of rules, two sets of laws.

One set of rules for the elites – and another set of rules for everyone else.

Nobody important, so no inquest... and those who are responsible for their deaths ARE somebodies. Welcome to Barbados!

This is a society where a family of five can die in a cave-in at a construction site – but there will be no inquest. In that case we had cracks appearing all around the Codrington family’s home and a “stop work” order was issued by “somebody”. Four days later “somebody” gave the go to resume construction and five people died.

No inquest though – because the people involved in the building of the Codrington home, the sale and transfer, the new construction and the “stop work” and “go ahead” orders are part of the protected elites. They are so protected that the Barbados news media won’t say their names.

The dead Codrington family, the three children and parents, were nobodies – just ordinary folks. There wasn’t any inquest.

Will there be an inquest called into the death of Al Cumberbatch?

Maybe not. Probably not. Mr. Cumberbatch and his family are ordinary people and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital has been under fire for some time.

It is so typical that the Nation newspaper today printed an article covering a STAGED TOUR with Senator Irene Sandiford-Garner saying what a fine place the QEH is (QEH among “the best”) – but the same paper won’t call for an inquest into Cumberbatch’s death nor will it do a story about diabetes confusion or question the wisdom of leaving a confused patient tied to a bed without proper supervision.

In a responsible and well-led society, Mr. Cumberbatch’s death would instantly be flagged for an inquest because the public good demands it. That’s in a responsible and well-led society, that is. Here in Barbados? Well, we’ll have to wait to see if any big shots are involved before we know the likelihood of an inquest being called.

Shona’s Work Story: Was a co-worker drunk? On drugs? No: They were having a Diabetic episode!

Our girl Shona saved a co-worker’s life one time, but the circumstances were such that it was only luck and a “bad feeling” that caused Shona to act as she did. This happened about ten years ago when Shona was working in a large office environment. She heard some people laughing and was told that “so and so” came back tipsy from lunch.

A few minutes later Shona saw the man and he appeared slightly drunk or high sitting at his desk doing paperwork but moving slowly. She asked if she should take his calls that afternoon and the man said ok, laughed and started talking nonsense. Shona laughed too and went back to her desk but started to have doubts. Her doubts grew and she returned to the man’s office and watched as he became worse minute by minute.

It ended up that Shona called the ambulance thinking that the man might be having a stroke, but later he told her that he was diabetic and didn’t realise what was happening to him at the time. He was gone for a week and told Shona that it had been a “close one” according to his doctor.

Here is the story from the Nation. You should read it at their website, but we will post the full story because both the Nation and the Barbados Advocate have shown that they will remove or modify stories to change history…

QEH patient dead after fall

AL CUMBERBATCH, the man who fell off the balcony at Ward C5 at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) last Saturday, has succumbed to his injuries.
His grieving sister Sakina Waldron said he died on Thursday morning around 10 a.m.

When this newspaper contacted Waldron just before 2 p.m., she said the family was still very angry and had not received an official report as to what happened on the morning Cumberbatch died. Continue reading


Filed under Barbados, Ethics, Freedom Of Information, Health, Human Rights