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European Investment Bank Team Meets Health Officials
From left to right – Executive Chairman, QEH, Juliette Bynoe-Sutherland; Vice President of the European Investment Bank, Ricardo Mourinho Félix; Minister of Health and Wellness, Ian Gooding-Edghill; and Director of Engineering Services, QEH, Paula Agbowu, touring the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, on Tuesday. (GP)

Representatives from the European Investment Bank (EIB) met with officials from the Ministry of Health and Wellness and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) on Tuesday, October 11, ahead of a monitoring mission to Barbados from October 19 to 22.

Vice President of the EIB, Ricardo Mourinho Félix, and his team, visited Minister of Health and Wellness, Ian Gooding-Edghill and Executive Chairman of the QEH, Juliette Bynoe-Sutherland.

The Bank is providing financial support to the Barbados COVID-19 Health Resilience Programme. The purpose is to support the financing of certain interventions aimed at strengthening the emergency response against the COVID-19 crisis, as well as the financing of pandemic preparedness medium-term interventions included in the Barbados COVID-19 National Response Plan.

After discussions with the Minister of Health, representatives from the Bank toured the Queen Elizabeth Hospital at Martindales Road, St. Michael.

Current negotiations with the European Investment Bank seeks to secure a loan to the tune of BDS $56 million for the repair of infrastructure and the replacement of outdated and obsolete equipment at the QEH.

During a tour of the 56-year-old healthcare facility, led by the hospital’s Director of Engineering Services, Paula Agbowu, Mr. Félix stated: “This a very important operation; we have an extended loan for improving this hospital that serves the population [of Barbados].”

Mrs. Bynoe-Sutherland explained that Barbados had been grappling with acquiring sufficient resources to adequately respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

She further noted that the European Union came to the country’s aid by providing the equipment and infrastructural support necessary. The QEH’s Executive Chairman also conveyed her gratitude to the European Union for their foresight in helping the hospital to become more resilient in the face of future unforeseen public health hazards.

Similar sentiments were shared by Mr. Gooding-Edghill, who thanked the European Investment Bank for providing funding during the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly for the purchase of personal protective equipment, and the outfitting and retrofitting of patient care areas within the QEH, and the Harrison’s Point Isolation Facility.

Minister Gooding-Edghill added that Barbados “continues to look forward to the support of the European Investment Bank” and that there are “several exciting projects that we will continue to work with the European Investment Bank on in furthering the promotion of our healthcare sector”.

The funds from this arrangement have been earmarked for the purchase of a new, environmentally-friendly waste management system at the hospital, as the current incinerator has been at the end of its life for the past 15 years; as well as new ventilation systems for the Mortuary Department and the Main Operating Theatre.

Additionally, the funds will go towards repairing the Lions Caribbean Eye Care Centre’s roof and the purchase of medical equipment needed to operationalise the Ophthalmic Operating Theatres; the construction of a new multi-story laboratory and a multi-story building for non-clinical services on the QEH’s Enmore compound; the renovation of the old Accident and Emergency Department and the implementation of a hospital information system. (QEH/BGIS)

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