Health Systems Profi le Barbados
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[Executive Summary]. Barbados is an independent democratic country in the Caribbean with a mid-year population estimated at 275,000 in 2007 occupying 166 square miles; it is one of the most densely populated countries in the world. Bridgetown and its environs, is the most populated area. In 2008 total life expectancy at birth was 77.5 years, with female life expectancy reaching 80.0 and male life expectancy reaching 74.9. Infant mortality rate declined steadily from 14 per 1,000 live births in the period 1990 to 1995 to 11 per 1,000 in the period 2000 to 2005. In the latter period, total fertility rate was 1.5 births per woman. A significant epidemiological trend in Barbados is the increasing prevalence of overweight, obesity, and chronic non-communicable diseases in the general population. The incidence rate of HIV remained stable, ranging between 0.14% in 2002 to 0.12% in 2007. There was a 65% decline in the number of HIV-related deaths between 2001 and 2006 but this trend was reversed in 2007, with a 53% increase in the number of reported deaths. Comprehensive health care is provided through a network of polyclinics, a secondary care institution, a mental hospital, and long-term facilities for the elderly and persons with disabilities. Health care services are provided free at the point of service in the public sector. The Barbados Drug Service provides drugs and other pharmaceutics listed in the Barbados Drug Formulary free of charge to persons in the public sector and to pre-defined beneficiaries in the private sector ... The Millennium Development Goals and the Essential Public Health Functions provide the timeframe to measure achievements, acknowledge challenges, and plan forward-looking strategies to achieve an equitable efficient, effective and sustainable health care system in Barbados.
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