Tag Archives: Barbados Health System

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

Barbados Health Minister admits hospital lacks inventory control of medical equipment, assets

Another one of those “don’t know whether to laugh or cry” stories about our illustrious DLP leadership.

by Nevermind Kurt

Health Minister Donville Inniss (photo above) just let the cat out of the bag: after four years of DLP government and 14 years of BLP government, the Queen Elizabeth Hospital still has no computerized inventory system for assets – including super expensive medical equipment. Un-freaking-believable!

Minister Inniss was giving one of the DLP’s famous “this is what we’re gonna do” speeches and that is laugh or cry time right there. After four years he should be giving a “This is what we’ve done” speech – but with the election fast approaching it’s the same old story as Ministers again try to portray that words, ideas and promises are real action.

“There will also be the development of an equipment inventory…”

After four years in power the DLP have suddenly realized that no one has a clue about what assets and medical equipment we have, and the assets’ location, condition and actual value. You will note that the Minister’s speech about this is all in the future tense, as in “We’re going to start to develop this inventory system.”

Have a read for yourself…

The Health Minister further revealed that there will also be the development of an equipment inventory of the medical equipment by the Information Systems Department and other authorities for the evaluation, monitoring and management of all health technology in the polyclinics.

“This Assets Management Electronic Database containing all essential information on each medical device will be kept and used for accountability and transparency for all of our equipment,” Inniss added.

Assets Management 101 for DLP Government Dummies

Hospital assets management has gone way beyond barcodes!

It is the height of incompetence and negligence that our government and health system and hospital administrators have not had a computerized assets inventory system in place for the past ten years – or three years.

What would it take? I know nothing about hospital assets management, but at the company I used to work for they have little silver “can’t remove” stickers with barcodes on every piece of equipment. Twice a year someone comes through with a barcode reader plugged into a laptop and zap! The list is made. If a piece of equipment is transferred to another division it’s a change in the database. If particular items are prone to going missing, or certain divisions lose too much equipment it shows up as a pattern. Easy.

I’ll bet there are many canned solutions out there. Just a minute, I’ll check…

Yup. I Googled “hospital asset management system” and there are 12 million hits, with hundreds of software systems for sale. Some track the assets automatically by radio tag like shoplifting stickers.

What would it take to list and evaluate the top five hospital assets management systems? Two months? Six months, tops? Good lord, this is 2012! Why haven’t we had this since 2000? Any damn fool knows that inventory management systems in business pay for themselves. I learned that one day when I didn’t fall asleep in business class.

Donville Inniss promises “I will no longer accept mediocrity.”

At least Inniss is honest enough to admit that for the past four years he and his DLP government have been accepting – and delivering – mediocrity.

Further Reading

Here is the news article from the Barbados Advocate that our story is based upon. We’re forced to reprint it in its entirety because the Barbados Advocate has a history of destroying its own archives and changing news stories without keeping copies of old versions.

Please go to the Barbados Advocate to read the story, and only continue reading here if the BA story is missing…

Better health records


By Tanya Lightbourne

The age-old challenge of missing patients’ notes and delays in obtaining medical reports in the public health care system must no longer persist, says Minister of Health, Donville Inniss.

“This is 2012 and we must get real! We have been talking about it for far too long,” he stressed during the handing over ceremony of new medical equipment to Warrens Polyclinic on Friday. Continue reading


Filed under Barbados, Health, Politics