Tight bud­get im­pacts UHWI re­search

Jamaica Gleaner - - INTERNATIONAL NEWS - Jo­van John­son Staff Re­porter

THE TIGHT bud­get on which the Univer­sity Hos­pi­tal of the West Indies (UHWI) op­er­ates has sig­nif­i­cantly im­pacted its re­search out­put, even as ad­min­is­tra­tors in­sist they do try to make the best of the sit­u­a­tion.

Although not­ing that much of the re­search at the Mona-based teach­ing in­sti­tu­tion goes through the nearby Univer­sity of the West Indies, for which it was es­tab­lished, the hos­pi­tal chair­man, James Moss-Solomon, said what the med­i­cal fa­cil­ity can do is cur­tailed by the lim­ited grant fund­ing.

He was speak­ing last week dur­ing a Gleaner Ed­i­tors’ Fo­rum, at which sev­eral se­nior of­fi­cials out­lined plans for a ma­jor in­fra­struc­ture over­haul of the 64-year-old in­sti­tu­tion.

“As a univer­sity, we al­ways want to do more re­search, so we’re go­ing to say that re­search is not enough. The im­pact that grant fund­ing or re­duc­tion in grant fund­ing has had on re­search out­put is sig­nif­i­cant. When­ever you have a short­age of re­sources, it is go­ing to af­fect re­search,” ad­mit­ted Dr Carl Bruce, the med­i­cal chief of staff.

“What the sys­tem is try­ing to do now is, by virtue of hav­ing health in­for­ma­tion sys­tems, there are ques­tions you can an­swer by query­ing the sys­tem, and so we’d be able to, in a short term, de­liver to you the num­bers that you want for a par­tic­u­lar dis­ease.”

Do­ing work on things like de­vel­op­ing new tech­niques, the neu­ro­sur­geon said, take a hit be­cause of the fall-off in grant fund­ing.

No data was pre­sented on the level of in­take. The hos­pi­tal has a bud­get for $2.8 bil­lion for this fis­cal year, but does not ex­pect to get close to that given the lim­ited sub­ven­tions from re­gional con­tribut­ing coun­tries even with the boost­ing of rev­enue streams.

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