Ins & Outs of Barbados 2023

138 Health&Wellness For many visitors, the quality of health care in Barbados seems remarkable for a country that’s not a first world country but perhaps a leader in the developing world! Many people are aware of the challenges of Britain’s National Health Service, Canada’s health service and the issues, including high costs, in American health care. And yet little Barbados has doctors and facilities surpassing those big countries in many ways. First of all, and of major importance, is the high level of training and qualifications of the doctors. For many years most doctors here were trained in Britain, either at Edinburgh or Cambridge Universities. In the mid twentieth century some sought medical education in Canada, especially at McGill, or the USA. For the last sixty plus years the great majority have been trained at the University of the West Indies (UWI) Faculties of Medicine, to the very highest standard. The UWI was established as a College of London University in 1948 in Jamaica. It now has campuses in five Caribbean countries with three medical faculties, in Jamaica, Barbados and Trinidad, and a school of Medicine in the Bahamas. The standards and quality are consistently appraised internationally as second to none. Currently there are some 700 doctors practising in Barbados, or one to every 400 people – a ratio similar to that in developed western countries. There is one large public hospital, the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, and one private hospital, Bay View Hospital. Primary care is provided by a mixture of government operated ‘polyclinics’ and private practices operated by family practitioners, many of whom have postgraduate training in family medicine. The hospitals have comprehensive teams of specialists – from plastic surgeons to neurosurgeons - with support teams of doctors in training, while the QEH is also a teaching hospital, for undergraduate and postgraduate medicine. There are four emergency services in the island, which handle all kinds of medical, surgical and trauma emergencies. They are at the QEH, the Sandy Crest Medical Centre at Holetown on the west coast, Coverley in the south and the FMH Emergency Centre near Bridgetown. And both diagnostic technology and paramedical and support skills and services are comprehensive. Although waiting times will vary at different times of day and year, our Accident and Emergency services have received an extremely high rating by the British consulting firm Clinic Compare. Of the emergency services across the world scoring highest for quality of care, qualifications of staff, waiting times et cetera, Barbados was rated seventh, among the highly rated Scandinavian countries and Monaco, and above Britain, Canada and the USA. Barbados also stands out for its long standing, forty-year-old drug procurement tendering system, which provides quality-accredited medications at extremely competitive prices. The Benefit Service provides free drugs even in private care, for the over 65, under 16 and the main chronic diseases. Plans are also in train for immediate expansion of facilities at the private Bay View Hospital, to produce a state-of-the-art Emergency and Diagnostic Centre which will cater to the local, regional and tourist populations, and with plans to provide full medical tourism facilities in the near future. This is a huge opportunity, benefitting Britons and North Americans, as the travel distance is a mere fraction of going to the far east. Health Care in Barbados By Sir Henry Fraser Starting a family Did you know that Barbados is the place where many people come to, to start their families? With the renowned Barbados Fertility Clinic here on our shores, many leave what they affectionately refer to as BarBABYdos with a bun in the oven, thanks to their services, including In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF), Intra-Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) and Intra-Uterine Insemination (IUI). Can you imagine a more peaceful and stress-free location to undergo fertility treatment? For a full list of medical institutions and emergency centres visit our website: pages/health-care-in-barbados