Medical facilities in Barbados are good, and Barbadians are covered by universal health care that is free at the point of delivery for all citizens. This insurance coverage does not extend to visitors so you must buy adequate private insurance coverage. There is a large 600-bed public hospital, the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH), in Bridgetown; it is supplemented by eight community polyclinics around the island. The QEH is the only major trauma facility in Barbados and has a 24-hour accident and emergency room. It has a medical intensive care, surgical intensive care, neonatal intensive care, and dialysis units.
The QEH is staffed by physicians and surgeon consultants in almost all specialties. In an emergency you can call upon the emergency ambulance service in Barbados which is operated by the QEH. QEH ambulance crews co-operate with the Barbados Defence Force (BDF) ambulance service in case of mass casualty. Ambulance crews are trained to perform CPR, advanced cardiac life support and administer IV's. Be prepared for long waits in the emergency room for minor emergencies; such cases are dealt with in priority order based on severity.
Private Medical Facilities
The public health care system is very heavily used, particularly during the pandemic; minor problems requiring a visit to the emergency room may require you to wait several hours for attention. Private clinics and physicians offer faster service, so visitors will want to use private medical facilities to minimise long waiting times.
Bayview Hospital is a privately owned 30-bed facility designed for less acute illnesses, minor outpatient surgery, as well as obstetric and gynecological care situated on the outskirts of Bridgetown. They do not have an accident & emergency department. Their small size blends personalised patient care and high quality accomodation in a friendly atmosphere. Their state of the art two bed Intensive Care Unit accommodates critically ill patients affording them round the clock care from specialized medical teams. They also have three operating rooms for surgical procedures which require anaesthesia.
Sandy Crest Medical Centre
Coverley Medical Centre
Sandy Crest & Coverley Medical Centres are family and wellness medical facilities which are also fully equipped to provide urgent and emergency care. They aim to provide timely, compassionate and comprehensive healthcare services in keeping with their unique setting and available resources. They strive to understand patient needs in order to guarantee delivery of the highest quality care. Sandy Crest Medical Centre is located in Sunset Crest, Holetown, St. James, while Coverley Medical Centre is in Coverley Town Centre, Coverley, Christ Church.
FMH Emergency Medical clinic
FMH Emergency Medical clinic (FMH) is a private emergency medical clinic staffed by Emergency Physicians and designed to treat conditions that have recently started or chronic conditions that have suddenly become worse. The clinic is a level 2 Emergency Centre with five Emergency Physicians. There are no facilities for major surgery or keeping patients overnight. FMH is located at 4A 3rd Avenue, Belleville, St. Michael.
Emergency Telephone Numbers
- Fire: 311
- Police: 211
- Ambulance: 511
Visitors to Barbados should be up-to-date on routine vaccines which include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine, varicella (chickenpox) vaccine, polio vaccine, and an annual flu shot if your doctor has recommended it.
Emergency Dental Care
Dental emergencies can occur at the most inconvenient times and many dentists in Barbados will accommodate same-day service for these emergencies. You can get the most up to date list by doing a Google search for emergency dental care in Barbados.