(SKNIS Photo: Governor General’s Deputy Seaton and Speaker Brand share a light moment.)
Basseterre, St. Kitts, May 15, 2015 (SKNIS): The commissioning of a comprehensive national health insurance plan is among the top priorities of the government of national unity.
This was evident when His Excellency Governor General’s Deputy S. W. Tapley Seaton Q.C. delivered the Throne Speech at the inaugural sitting of National Assembly under the government of national unity, on May 14.
“By far, one of the major provisions which our unity government intends to deliver on, is the provision of universal health insurance coverage for all our citizens,” he said. “Too many of our people are often denied or delayed in terms of the medical care and attention they deserve, simply because of their inability to pay for such services. This has to stop. Sponsor sheet fund-raisers help to finance the cost of medical care, but are often slow processes and almost always fail to cover the full medical bill, such patients and their families are obligated to settle.”
The Throne Speech also linked health to wealth along with the government’s inclusion policy.
“A prosperous nation is a healthy nation,” His Excellency said. “The true character of our country is how we treat our children and those who are in the golden years of their lives. … This government will ensure that all persons registered under the Social Security Act will have access to national health insurance benefits including self-employed persons. Our government will include children in the national insurance programme via school registration.”
Other areas in the health sector that would be addressed during the government’s legislative term were outlined.
“This government must modernize medical record-keeping in order to expedite the delivery of health care to our citizens,” His Excellency said. “The upgrade of the federation’s medical infrastructure also demands that ample attention be paid to top-of-the line improvement to all of our hospitals and health centres in St. Kitts and Nevis. Other imperatives include adequate staffing and the bolstering of professionalism and productivity of all our medical personnel and ancillary workers. Improvement in our management of medical supplies, purchasing, laboratories and maintenance programmes, to the physical plant and the medical fleet of vehicles.”