Working Hard Is Not Working Smart

Minister of Health Donville Inniss

Minister of Health Donville Inniss


Minister of Housing Michael Lashley

The government of Barbados assumed office with a promise to boldly tackle the demand for housing by Barbadians. On the political platforms the figure 17, 000 applicants who were awaiting housing solutions was bandied around. To the governments credit if we go by media reports the incumbent Minister of Housing Michael Lashley has been a busy man. Several housing developments have have been built and land lots made available for sale to Barbadians. Despite our satisfaction at the housing solutions made available  we have to register our concern about the several housing developments which remain locked-down. In some cases the grass and bush has reached the window sills of the completed development. An example can be seen at the development in Greens, St. George.

Why are the houses in Greens closed for so long when there is a pent-up demand for houses in Barbados?

Donville Inniss is another minister reported to be manfully accepting the challenges within the health ministry. If we are to judge by his several appearances in the media since assuming office, it can be easily said  he is close to rivalling Minister Byer-Suckoo by being Hither, Dither and Yon.  We understand the minister is set to announce shortly whether Barbados will be constructing a new hospital or remodelling the aged Queen Elizabeth Hospital. Perhaps one of the biggest challenges confronting Minister Inniss is the alarming rise of non-communicable diseases (CNCDs). Our current health strategy reminds BU of the maxim, prevention is better than cure. We are possibly about to build a state of the art hospital geared among other things to respond to a rising demand.

Would it make more sense for Barbados to articulate a strategic policy to encourage a more healthy lifestyle by our people?

Recent new research in the USA has suggested simply by living in a neighborhood that provides easy opportunities for exercise and healthy eating and fresh fruits and vegetables close by, may cut a person’s chance of developing type 2 diabetes. We wonder if the hardworking Ministers, Lashley and  Inniss would do better to collaborate based on what the new research has concluded. Let us build housing developments in the future which support a healthy lifestyle. By doing so millions of dollars can be saved, more importantly,  Barbadians will enjoy healthier living.

Read a report about the new research.

Reuters – Mon Oct 12, 5:59 pm ET

CHICAGO (Reuters) – People who live in neighborhoods with safe sidewalks, ample parks, good public transportation and ready access to fresh fruits and vegetables are 38 percent less likely to develop diabetes than others, U.S. researchers said on Monday.

They said unlike a lot of other factors that influence diabetes, creating a healthy neighborhood is one thing policymakers can do to address the epidemic of diabetes, which costs the United States more than $116 billion in medical expenses each year.

An estimated 23.6 million people in the United States and 246 million people globally have diabetes. Most have type 2, the kind linked with a poor diet and lack of exercise.

“Altering our environments so that healthier behaviors and lifestyles can be easily chosen may be one of the key steps in arresting and reversing these epidemics,” Amy Auchincloss of Drexel University in Philadelphia, whose study appears in the Archives of Internal Medicine, said in a statement.

Auchincloss studied 2,285 adults age 45 to 84 from three different communities: Baltimore, Maryland; the Bronx neighborhood of New York and Forsyth County, North Carolina, who were initially examined between 2000 and 2002. They took blood sugar levels before the study and at three follow-up exams, and gathered information on physical activity, weight and diet.

They also measured neighborhood resources through a community survey that asked about whether it was easy to get healthy foods, or if it was pleasant or easy to walk in their neighborhood.

They defined neighborhoods as the area within a 20-minute walk or a mile from their homes.

In communities that offered more healthy resources — ranked by a combined score for opportunities for physical activity and healthy foods, people were 38 percent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes in five years than people who lived in less-healthy neighborhoods.

Several studies have found that lack of access to healthy foods in poor neighborhoods contributes to obesity. And a study last year published in the American Journal of Public Health, found that youth whose schools are located near a fast food outlet eat fewer fruits and vegetables, drink more soda and are more likely to be obese than students at other schools.

Although it is difficult to force an individual to make changes that alter their diabetes risk, it may be possible to lower the incidence of diabetes in a community by making neighborhood improvements, Dr. Mitchell Katz of the San Francisco Department of Public Health, said in a commentary.

“If we are to decrease the rates of type 2 diabetes, we need to change the environment in ways that make it easy for people to exercise and eat right as part of their daily routine,” Katz wrote.

(Reporting by Julie Steenhuysen; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

17 thoughts on “Working Hard Is Not Working Smart

  1. UNDER the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) administration, more than 80 acres of Government-owned land were sold to private developers contrary to decisions of Parliament.

    And on two occasions, lands, for which the infrastructural development was funded by the state-run National Housing Corporation (NHC), were placed under the control of private developers for allocation to potential buyers.

    “There was no clear benefit for the corporation from this course of action,” said Auditor General Leigh Trotman, in a scathing “Special Audit” of the NHC – a copy of which was obtained by the NATION – covering the five-year period April 1, 2003 to March 31, 2008.

    “With applications in excess of 24 000, there was no benefit in allowing private developers to allocate land, without any stipulations about who the land should be sold to.”

    In addition to evaluating the efficiency and effectiveness of the NHC, the audit examined the construction of houses, sale of units and of land. Special attention was paid to the NHC’s financial capacity in relation to its mandate of developing land and building units for sale or rental to low and middle-income people.

    The report cited the Kent, Christ Church joint venture project approved by Cabinet for three developers to provide housing for first time homeowners with each developer assigned 66 lots.

    On November 6, 2002, the report said, the NHC changed the arrangement and reduced the number of developers to two.

    NHC, in response, said it was done on a directive from the Ministry of Housing.

    After protracted negotiations failed to find an agreement on price suitable to it, the NHC terminated the talks.

    The report said criteria set by Cabinet in which negotiations broke down, the joint venture partners were to be paid for all work done and all lands returned to the NHC.

    “Rather than follow this criteria,” it added, “the corporation chose to offer the land for sale to the joint-venture partners. This arrangement was never approved by Cabinet.”

    The ministry approved the sale, and on July 22, 2005 gave the NHC permission to offer 53.95 acres to the partners for $16 million or $7 per square foot, with the monies used to build 56 units at Country Road.

    The Kent lands remained idle after six years, the report noted, and there were 198 applicants on the NHC’s 29 000-strong database who applied for lots but had not been considered.

    “The decision of Parliament was not adhered to,” the report stated. “It is not clear why the corporation would sell land acquired for its housing programme to a private developer.

    “It should also be noted that once land has been sold to a developer the corporation has no control of the purpose or use of the land.”

    The NHC, in response, suggested the Auditor General carry out further research on this “because Cabinet had also taken the decision to vest large parcels of land in the corporation for quick sale to generate funds to support its capital works programme”.

  2. @WIV

    Not sure you have grasped the point of the research or you have chosen to ignore. Should we design and build our housing developments to encourage healthy lifestyle living. Wouldn’t we reduce our burgeoning healthcare bill?

    BTW the statement attributed to Minister of Health Inniss last week about Barbados becoming self-sufficient in supplying nurses is BS and takes Bajans for fools. Based on low pay nurses will continue to seek greener pastures abroad.

  3. @ David

    BTW the statement attributed to Minister of Health Inniss last week about Barbados becoming self-sufficient in supplying nurses is BS and takes Bajans for fools. Based on low pay nurses will continue to seek greener pastures abroad.

    All sensible persons MUST agree with your statement above.

    Many of our brightest girls no longer teach or do nursing as there are several new avenues into which they now advance.

    Many of our nurses that were trained in the 70’s, 80’s & 90’s have migrated.

    Because of the tendency to train nurses in Community Colleges following the US style most of the recntly trained nurses are not up to scratch and are failing regional exams according to a recent statement in the NATION.

    Moreover, that statement pointed out that senior staff nurses have little or no time to teach young incoming nurses on the job because they are too busy because of the general shortage of nurses.

    Where will this twit Inniss get girls to train of the necessary caliber to make Barbados self sufficient in nurses once more, when the brighter girls are not pursuing nursing as a careeer, and the second best who are not accepted and do pursue nursing, soon go off to fill the increasing number of vacancies in the USA occasioned by the demand, the numbers and affluence of the baby boomers?

  4. Minister Lashley is one of my favourite Ministers. He is the hardest working Minister in the History of Barbados over a short period. He seems conscientious , diligent and compassionately sensitive. I also like Minister Iniss, who looks like Prime Minister material to me.

  5. Oh God, I’m crazy about Donville Inniss. He is sooooooooooo sexy and his eyesssssssssssssssssssssssss, oh my Lorddddddddddddddd.

    Would someone, anyone, please convey this message to himmmmmmmmmm.


    Petition for UK to support Goldstone report, bring Israeli war criminals to justice


    13 October 2009

    Please, I am asking all to post this on your blog, pass it to other blogs and keep reminding people.

    The Zionist Federation in England are attempting to lobby Gordon Brown to condemn and help quash the Goldstone report at the UN. The European Campaign to End the Siege on Gaza have now created a petition today calling on Brown to “support” the report and not to condemn it. PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD ON ANY AND ALL BLOGS, Please make a post on your blog and then add the link to your sidebar asking people to sign this petition to save the Goldstone Report. Even though your blog may be in another country, your readers come from around the world, many from the UK. So please post this petition and link below:

    Submitted by Arafat Madi of The European Campaign to End the Siege on Gaza – Deadline to sign up by: 12 March 2010

    We the undersigned petition call on the British Premier, Gordon Brown, to support the Goldstone Report and to ensure its acceptance in the Human Rights Council in March 2010. The report which was issued by a special committee assigned by the UN proved in a report of 570 pages that Israel perpetrated war crimes against Humanity in Gaza within its offensive in January 2009. Endorsing the report is endorsing humanity and rights of the besieged people of Gaza who are defenseless victims of the Israeli army. Israeli soldiers themselves confessed to have received orders to shot children in Gaza. TV Footages, Photographs and Media materials entirely supports the Goldstone report. The full-scale offensive in Gaza left at least 1,450 Palestinians killed and over 5000 injured. The entire infrastructure in Gaza was destroyed as Israeli attacks targeted schools, hospitals, streets, water wills, sewage system, farms and police stations. Till this moment, Israel is still imposing a harsh and criminal siege on the civilian population Gaza.


  7. As a resident of Greens, I have not yet seen anyone having bought a house, or even heard of any person ever bought one yet so far. There are yet to be street lights to become operational on my way home from work.

    I’m not sure if these homes were ever made ready as yet by the NHC.

  8. Here are many things a future PDC Government shall do in Barbados:

    1) Abolish ALL TAXATION;

    2) Abolish Interest Rates;

    3) Abolish ALL Exchange Rates Parities with the Barbados Dollar;

    4) Abolish ALL Motor Vehicle Insurance;

    5) Make Imports of Goods and Services “Zero-priced” at all points of entry;

    6) Make Exports of Goods and Services once destined for the external markets to be paid for in local currency/”prices”;

    7) Ensure that ALL Institutional Loans for Productive Purposes become Non-Repayable;

    8) Make sure that the Hire Purchase system is seriously reformed in this country;

    9) Disabuse with the notion of “Inflation” but at the same time to make sure that at any time – even at such a time as now when there is a political economic depression in Barbados – as much PRODUCTIVE money/value as possible circulates within the country with a view of ever helping to expand our productive sectors and ever helping to grow our so-called economy;

    10) Making sure that NO foreigners will – at the time of our being at the helm of government in this country – own the rights to our Land spaces – ONLY Barbadian citizens and businesses and other entities – Foreigners will ONLY be able to lease such rights;

    11) Make sure that there is a regime of Rent Control instituted in this country for ALL residential, commercial, and other relevant properties;

    12) Making sure that partnerships are the ONLY multi-member corporate business entities possible in Barbados – this dispensation will ensure that present day workers, managers and owners of present day business enterprises will become future partners in future enterprises in this country and that each of them, et al, will be remunerated in profits;

    13) The share holder culture in Barbados will be reformed to make sure that ANY LOCAL OR FOREIGN MONEY INVESTORS WILL NEVER EVER BECOME – when our party remains at the helm of government in this country – OWNERS OR PART OWNERS of any business enterprises in Barbados on the basis of merely injecting cash/value into commercial enterprises – THEY SHALL BE SEEN AS JUST MONEY INVESTORS who are simply entitled to profits;

    14) That NO completely foreign owned businesses will exist in Barbados – Foreigners and and foreign entities shall ONLY be capable of entering into joint ventures or strategic alliances with Barbadian interests in whatever areas of business in Barbados, to a maximum of 51% ownership of such enterprises;

    15) Ensure that there is installed in this country a modern efficient railway system very much on or along the existing ABC/Spring Garden/Ronald Highways;

    16) The bringing about of more TV stations in this country – and one of which will have to cater to assisting in the cultural development of this country – the elimination of as many corrupt negative foreign influences as possible from our social landscape;

    17) The creation of Technological, Technical, Commercial, Languages, Science, Culinary, Sporting Academies in the secondary school system and in which each Academy will – basic subjects apart – specialize in the teaching, the instilling, and the engaging in of those theoretical and experiential knowledges and activities that are ever so important to the country’s future greater development;

    18) The Abolition of the Common Entrance Examination and in its place the establishment of A National Continuous Assessment Program;

    19) The building of a modern acute care public hospital in the north of the country;

    20) The making sure that Constituents will debate and pass the laws of this country – NOT like this big foolish idea called constituency councils;

    21) Making sure that the Constitution of Barbados provides for the operation of Coalitional Government in Barbados – and of which, et al, the head of such will be an elected Executive President of Barbados and of which it will be composed of elected party, non-party-political and independent non-partisan members;

    22) The removal of the Queen as Head of State of this country;

    23) The removal of the first past the post electoral system and in its place a variant of the proportional representational electoral system; and

    24) The election nationally of ALL Judges of the High Court and some other senior governmental officials like the DPP – all of whom will be adjunct members of the Cabinet of Barbados.


  9. You are correct, David.

    We in PDC and Professor Persaud would at this time NOT see eye to eye on the issue of the Abolition of Taxation given the particular exchange that took place between during the question and answer segment of his recent lecture at the Errol Barrow Centre for Creative Imaginationin in BarbadosISSUE OF THE aBOLITION OF tAXATIONto do NOT agree and will

  10. David, you are correct; those reports are true.

    And, yes, we in the PDC and Professor Persaud would NEVER at this time see eye to eye on the issue of the Abolition of Taxation, given the nature of the exchange that took place between Mr. Adamson and Mr. Persaud during the question and answer segment of his recent lecture at the Errol Barrow Centre for Creative Imagination at the Cave Hill Campus.

    Truth is, too, Professor Persaud really did NOT deal with the question of the Abolition of Taxation on the night. He preferred to have skirted the question by remarking that with the IDEA of the Abolition of Taxation public goods and services would have still to be paid for – which – as a tepid intellectual response then – and which must still be seen as that type of response now – is NOT the FUNDAMENTAL ISSUE involved in question of the Abolition of Taxation.

    Professor Persaud by quickly going on to take another question from another member of the audience – without seriously dealing with the issue as any serious academic ought to have – did therefore preempt the opportunity for a serious discussion between Adamson, himself, and members of the audience on this very profound but vexxed issue of TAXATION, and to thereby greater shed some light on it as the foolishness that it is and that it has been for ever so long any where in this world that it has been imposed.


  11. David, after much song and dance on this site particularly by people like Negroman, The Scout, Sargeant and Denis Jones (aka Living in Babados) and others, why don’t you publish the Green Paper on Immigration? Link is at GIS site under “media downloads”.

    Good stuff. I’m impressed especially reading ad nauseam from LIB that the government had no policy. Tells me something about those guys.

    Also tells me that when David Thompson promises, he delivers.

  12. Veritas

    The green paper is not policy.

    So that P.M. Thompson may change all of that on the suggestion from a guyanese or jamaican or lucian etc since he is asking them to comment and offer suggestions.

    Very weak.Imagine a sovereign country submitting its draft laws for foreigners to have an input.Steupse.

    You see Antigua doing that with their new proposed immigration laws?

  13. “Also tells me that when David Thompson promises, he delivers.”

    Comedy Fest start already?

    I promise you that David Thompson will deliver more promises than anything else.

    His promisecuity is becoming tiresome.

  14. MUBB, if it is not policy, why are you trying to suggest it is elsewhere? Clearly you don’t think.

    Regarding last post, I am merely saying that on this blog there were those who were saying Government has no policy on immigration. The government promised it, said it would circulate the views and there it is.

    We don’t have to agree with it but I am waiting until December when the amnesty ends. The proof of the pudding will be in the eating.

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