Barbadian Health Minister observes: Non-communicable diseases (NCD’s) overpowering Communicable diseases as leading cause of Death
Equal emphasis needs to be placed on the prevention, management and control of non-communicable diseases (NCD’s).
Minister of Health, John Boyce, revealed that NCDs have now replaced communicable diseases as a major cause of illness and death in our population. And, he stated this gives Barbados a national health profile that “mimics that of developed countries“.
Mr. Boyce noted that progress and development has in effect impacted the society’s way of living as it resulted in the population engaging in less physical activity than would have been the case 20 years ago.
“We engage in the over consumption of processed foods which are high in fats, sugar and salt and we engage in (some of us) alcohol abuse and tobacco use. These features are all risk factors for the diseases that are now the leading cause of death in the region and Barbados, namely heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer,” he noted.
In turn, Mr. Boyce pointed out that “because of our limited financial resources it was necessary (for us) to explore financial models for health care that are sustainable”.
Additionally, he mentioned that although good data on health care costs in the public sector were available, he observed that Barbadians needed to pay attention to the lack of access to data on health care costs in the private sector as well.
He added that this would require that a protocol be worked out with local private providers that allowed the Ministry of Health to monitor this data and thus aid in making informed decisions involving a new health care economic plan. (TB/BGIS)