Sir Richard Christopher Haynes KA, FRCP
Former Political Leader and Cabinet Minister, Barbados
Richard Christopher Haynes was a Barbadian politician and former Cabinet Minister.
Early life and education
Sir Richard Christopher Haynes, KA, was born at Newbury, St. George on 10 June 1936, to Clifford and Muriel Haynes.
He received his early education at the Workman’s Junior School, St. George’s Boys School and the institution on Crumpton Street, where he was awarded a Barbados Scholarship in Classics in 1956. But like other great Barbadian classical scholars, his ambition was to serve his country in the field of medicine.
He graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 1963 and interned at the Royal Infirmary. He then became a Research Fellow and Registrar at the University of Edinburgh. In 1967 he passed the MRCP (Edinburgh) exams and returned home.
Between 1967 and 1976 Dr. Haynes was Head of the Department of Medicine; Senior Physician Specialist; and Chief of Medical Staff. He established a reputation among his colleagues as a great diagnostic expert. During his tenure at the QEH, Dr. Haynes also established the hospital’s first Intensive Care Unit, the only one at that time in the English speaking Caribbean with state of the art patient care. This development saved hundreds of lives over the years, from leptospirosis and tetanus to heart attacks, and symbolized the era of modern medical technology.
Dr. Hyanes established links with other centres for specialist training of UWI Medical graduates, and worked to transform the QEH from a secondary care institution to a tertiary care teaching hospital of quality. He also conducted a medical practice at Delaware Medical Centre, which he co-founded in 1972 until a few years ago before retirement.
In 1978 Dr. Haynes was awarded the Fellowship of the Royal College of Edinburgh. At university he played a dynamic role in student politics, useful training for his entry into elective politics at home in 1978, when he became a Member of the House representing the St. Michael South Central constituency (Download results of 1978 By-Election). He was principal Opposition spokesman on Finance in 1979 and later served as Minister of Finance in 1986/1987.
In February 1989, four MP of the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) government left the party to form a new one, the National Democratic Party (NDP) with Dr. Richard Haynes as its head. The other members were Richard Byer, Peter Miller and Edgar Bourne. Dr. Haynes was subsequently appointed as leader of the parliamentary opposition. The NDP unsuccessful contested the 1991 election losing all four of its seats in parliament. Dr. Haynes was however the only successful NDP candidate in the 1994 General Election. At the height of its popularity, the NDP was able to secure 13 per cent of votes cast by the electorate.
Dr. Haynes retired from politics in 1998.
With elective politics in the background, he has concentrated his energy on numerous community projects designed to help the young, the old and the poor.
In 1998, Sir Richard served as Chairman of the Advisory Commission of Enquiry into the QEH (The Haynes Commission). The Report of the Commission strategically charted a path for the future development of the QEH, including the framework for the structure of a Board of Management for the institution and the establishment of the Fast Track Service at the Winston Scott Polyclinic. Download Commission Report
Honours and awards
The Accolade of Knight of St. Andrew was conferred on Sir Richard in November 2003 in recognition of his outstanding contribution to Barbados, especially in the area of health care.
In January 2012, the South Coast Boardwalk was officially named in Sir Richard’s honour as the “Richard Haynes Boardwalk” in recognition of his sterling contribution to the political and social development of Barbados in general, and to the commercial development of the environs of Rockley, Christ Church, in particular.
Sir Richard was married to Dr. Carol Jacobs and was the father of two sons, Richard and Kashka.
Sir Richard died on 23 June 2013 at age 77 after a prolonged battle with throat cancer. He was buried in the graveyard of St. George Parish Church after an official service.