The new policy states:

(i) No medical services, including diagnostic, clinical or pharmaceutical shall be provided to individuals who are not citizens or lawful permanent residents. However, medical services can be provided in circumstances of genuine emergency, pre-natal care, immunization, conditions of current public health significance and HIV/AIDS treatment; and

(ii) Individuals who are neither citizens nor permanent residents shall be advised to seek medical treatment from a private sector provider of his or her choice.

This situation follows the disclosure by government, that Barbadians will have to pay a dispensing fee if attaining drugs at non-government owned pharmacies, from April 1, 2011. This is all in an effort to prevent government paying a dispensing fee to private pharmacies for patients who were seen in the public medical facilities.

Persons seen in public medical facilities who attain their prescriptions through private pharmacies will pay a dispensing fee, but the government will pay for the cost of the drugs involved.

These measures are in an effort to control health care expenses in this current recessionary environment which is affecting the world. Barbados is no exception, and will have to take these measures in order that health care could remain free for nationals at least within the near future.