There has been more than one time in our country’s history when we as a people have had to step back, pause and wonder, whether the government lives in the same country as the rest of us.
In our country, it is increasingly difficult for the average person to make their ends meet. Our young people are without jobs, our farmers without their livelihood, tourism on decline, and our healthcare system frightfully inadequate. Our economy continues not to grow, and Crime is on the rise. In the ULP world, according to at least one of the ULP’s parliamentarians, our Economy is the best it has ever been since Independence.
This past week, the Prime Minister rose in Parliament to declare that Parliamentarians as a group are without Health Insurance. He indicated that he will reimburse monies for medical expenses incurred by parliamentarians. Nothing was said about average Vincentians who cannot afford to pay for medical procedures and care, for themselves and their family members. Nothing was said about those who die for want of medication and medical intervention which our hospital lacks the capacity to provide.
What the Prime Minister also failed to say was that his ULP administration refused to implement the National Health Insurance Programme in 2001 which had been developed by an NDP Arnhim Eustace led administration. The programme was ready to be rolled out,
when they came to power thirteen years ago. Every element of preparation was complete and instead, the programme, which would have provided basic health care coverage for all Vincentians, was ignored, scrapped, discarded by the ULP.
To come now in 2014 and promise to reimburse parliamentarians for their medical expenses is a slap in the face of every Vincentian who is without the ability to get basic health insurance coverage, because of the ULP’s willful refusal to implement that programme.
This, at a time when basic drugs are not even regularly available at the hospital; when some tests cannot be performed at our hospital laboratory, forcing those who need them to pay money they don’t have, and in many cases, can’t find, for these services elsewhere.
What do you say to a government that is obviously callous, and remembers only what it wants to, and not what is real? What do you say to a Prime Minister with the audacity to get up in the parliament and make declarations about health care for the few when he did nothing to secure the health of the many? NO WAY PRIME MINISTER NO WAY! The Opposition will not be a party to your wanton disregard for Vincentians and the dismal state of Vincentian healthcare services.