By Joy Springer
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (BGIS) — Health and wellness minister, Jeffrey Bostic, has welcomed the third medical team from China to Barbados as part of a memorandum of understanding signed between the two countries in October, 2016.
Bostic explained that the memorandum of understanding has made available to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital medical expertise and support that was of “inestimable value” to the island’s lone tertiary, acute care medical institution.
Speaking at a reception last Friday at the Chinese embassy to welcome the latest team and to bid farewell to the second medical team, the minister said: “I must go on record to indicate that the competencies and expertise transferred by members of your specialist teams, both past and present, have provided the Queen Elizabeth Hospital with a tremendous opportunity to enhance technical skills and build clinical capacity.”
To date, he revealed, medical support has been provided by two medical teams comprising five surgeons, five physicians and six nurses across the specialties of nuclear medicine, anaesthesia, rehabilitation, orthopaedics, critical care and nephrology.
Bostic said that these disciplines were carefully selected, in keeping with the range of services to be improved and strengthened at the QEH. The expertise provided, especially for orthpaedics and vascular interventions, he added, “would go a long way in mediating the list of patients awaiting orthopaedic and vascular surgeries”.
The minister also thanked China for a donation of medical equipment and consumables, including two anaesthesia machines, valued at US$400,000. The donations, he said, were invaluable, given the economic and fiscal constraints Barbados was currently experiencing.
“In pursuit of the ultimate goal of providing improved health care, and by extension an improved quality of life for Barbadians, the legacy created by Barbados’ cooperation with the People’s Republic of China in health care will provide a natural foundation for enhanced partnership in other areas,” Bostic concluded.