The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Martindale’s Road, is a micro-community serving the island of Barbados.
A place where all sorts of people, including the well and not-so-well, meet and interact.
Opened since 14 November 1964, it was deemed a Category B hospital in a PAHO study a few years ago. Water, medical gasses and fuel reserves have not being in keeping with best practices, due mainly to lack of space and other infrastructural needs. Since around 2011, I am told, Ministers and concerned parties have been debating its closure in favour of more modern facilities and infrastructure.
Thankfully, many charities continually work to support the Hospital, its users and staff. The Cancer Society (their ladies serve free refreshment in the Hematology Unit), the Lions Club International, the Rotary Club International, children’s’ charities and may more give invaluably of their time money and resources to keep the Hospital functioning.
It is a place I have frequented as a child and one I got to know even better while working there in the ‘Food Stores’, a small office of us four ladies who did the ordering purchasing and monitoring of all food bought for hospital use. A small office but large walk-in freezers for storage of all the vegetables fruit diary meat and other nutrient needs which we dispersed early in the morning, shortly before lunch, in the late afternoon, and in-between as requisitioned . The orderlies assigned to the department would take the food up to the kitchens and wards and help with clearing the freezers, stock checks, receiving orders and all of the heavy lifting.
The hospital is a business, a charity (no fees to local Barbadians), a community and a very social organization. I remember games of dominoes, card games, football and cricket teams and the best sport – friendly banter. It is located in the Capital, Bridgetown. The rear looks onto Constitution River and the Fairchild Street/River bus Terminus.
These photographs were taken on its South (rear) side,
where, once you enter through the big gate
you travel left around the hospital compound,
as a right turn would take you to Physiotherapy and other clinics/parts and you’d just have to turn right round again. 🙂
As you can see the buildings need a bit of refurbishment at the moment to make them look fresh, but all the equipment seems to be in good order from the little I have heard and seen (had my X-rays done). The only complaints I have heard is about availability of certain medicines, particularly for Diabetes I think. I pray somehow that area can be sorted soon as the Doctors and Nurses can only do so much.
Once you get onto the West side of the hospital compound you will pass the cricket/sports field to the left, which leads into the hospital, (more parking) and then the A&E .
This field is a recreational open pasture really, that abuts the same Martindale’s Road as the hospital – the road on which my old school , St. Michael’s still resides. 🙂
The A&E is a closed unit of course and looks spick and span from the little I have seen on passing. About 45,000 people are seen here each year.
To the left of here (going behind the ambulance) is the Hospital’s entrance — and exit, as it seems one is no longer allowed a back way out, unless you are staff I guess.
Rounding off our tour, let’s quickly see a few inside bits.
And so back to the beginning. Back to the front.
I hope you enjoyed this tour around the surrounds of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Martindale’s Road, Barbados.
As you have seen it is not mammoth and the buildings could do with some refurbishment. Leaving aside the structural limitations which affect concerns of water, medical gasses and fuel, e.g. space for more tanks, our hospital has served the local population well over the years.
It is a fine institution because of its fundamental character, and so I hope you got a feel for the place and its environs.
Here’s wishing that all who visit work or stay here will leave refreshed. Either from the treatments, the service, or maybe from the kind winds that blow across the river at its back.
Thanks for viewing.