Rising costs may cause QEH hospital to introduce fees for dialysis patients

By Caribbean Medical News Staff

Chief Executive Officer of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Barbados, Dr. Dexter James says that at least four new patients are placed on dialysis each month and rising costs may force the hospital to introduce fees.
To date, the Government of Barbados is spending approximately $14 million dollars to treat 171 dialysis patients and the Hospital Chief is asking individuals to take personal responsibility for their own health.
“Part of reducing the burden to us is taking personal responsibility for your health care. From the patients who will be afforded peritoneal dialysis, the unfortunate reality is that we’re going to have to means test them because if they can make some contribution towards their care, it will certainly assist us”, he said.
James was speaking at the launch of the Brydens Stokes and Baxter Global Peritoneal Home Delivery Service at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
Currently, there are twenty-six (26) patients between the ages of seven to 81 years of age who are using the peritoneal system. This home delivery method eliminates the need for patients to go back and forth and according to Marselles Sealy, coordinator of the programme, “it takes the toll off their hearts”.
James indicated that while the QEH undertook the entire cost for patients treated there, those who were treated off-site or used/outsourced the system to private institutions may have their days so-doing “numbered”.
The Hospital has also been subject to massive budget cuts in the recently laid Budgetary Proposals in the Barbados House of Parliament in 2013 and currently still owes millions of dollars to local pharmaceutical suppliers. However, James indicated alongside Minister of Health, the Hon. John Boyce that measures were being put in place to address that debt and to have medications available.

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