Health and Education Security (HES) Fund idea from BAMP is wrong or Barbados’ Polyclinic system is best? Easy to dismiss, where are answers?

A Barbadian consumer under the name of Anthony Davis recently got into a hissy fit over a very comprehensively researched idea from Dr Carlos Chase, president of the Barbados Association of Medical Practitioners… In a typical Barbadian assault, no counter proposal was offered –

“{How} many more taxes should be put on the backs of the people of this country? $100 annually may not be nothing but a drop in the ocean for you and some others in our society, but we still have people in our country who are being paid $5/hour – with a loaf of bread costing $5.00. How are such people to pay an additional tax no matter how small?

Paying the money into the NIS would be like putting a child in a candy store and telling him/her to take what he/she wants for the Minister of Finance as he would have more money which he could dispose of as he pleases - especially to pour into the bottomless pit called "Four Seasons" which is always about to start, and has not been resurrected up to now. Putting it into the NIS Fund would be the worst move. It should not be placed anywhere where Government can get its hands on it.

Paying the money into the NIS would be like putting a child in a candy store and telling him/her to take what he/she wants for the Minister of Finance as he would have more money which he could dispose of as he pleases – especially to pour into the bottomless pit called “Four Seasons” which is always about to start, and has not been resurrected up to now. Putting it into the NIS Fund would be the worst move. It should not be placed anywhere where Government can get its hands on it.

In the editorial of the same issue on page 2, the writer states: “Maybe the greatest contribution all of us could make is leading and living a more healthy lifestyle ourselves. It is no secret that much of our health care dollars is spent on patients with chronic conditions, which might have been prevented – these ailments that need not have sprouted into crises and unnecessary costs to the hospital itself. It certainly is neither rational nor considerate to eat and drink whatsoever, without thought of benefit or not to body, but with the satisfaction the QEH is there to put whatever is wrong rightfree of cost.”

Honestly, it seems the writer was a Government official enraged that a non-elected person devised an idea from a strategy based on the experience of being a health official and not a parliamentary pimp or some other similar ilk?

I truly have to wonder who really composed the aforementioned diatribe, given when I attended the same conference, I overheard Donville Inniss hissing at Dr Chase how his presentation had “several inaccuracies,” perhaps it is because the BAMP leader made too comprehensive an analysis of what other countries do for their Health plans? New Zealand, Canada, Germany and France were some of the places he included – or was it Dr Chase did what Donville failed to do during his tenure as Minister, save leave a legacy where many Bajans now pay for what used to be free? A further betrayal to Errol Barrow’s legacy of using tax to benefit the public and not Cabinet?

Conversely, Sagicor’s Chief Operating Officer Edward Clarke was very clever – he not only agreed with Dr Chase but also MP Inniss in each of their ideas… Here’s what the Barbados Advocate said on the Health Minister (Ag)’s latest effort to sabotage what is left for Barbadians to use for medical assistance in the current harsh economical times;-

Acting Minister of Health, Donville Inniss, maintains there’s a need for the public to disabuse their minds of the notion that the polyclinic system, and the staff who work there, are inefficient.

He made the observations while delivering remarks at the 2nd QEH Health Care Financing Conference, which was held at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre on Friday.

We have to put some resources and some emphasis on the primary health care side of our health care system, as we seek to address the major cost centre, which of course is the QEH.

"So in other words, let us ease more of the pressure off the QEH, by placing greater emphasis on the primary care sector, and not just at the polyclinic level, but also the community level," (Inniss) stated.

So in other words, let us ease more of the pressure off the QEH, by placing greater emphasis on the primary care sector, and not just at the polyclinic level, but also the community level,” (Inniss) stated.

Regardless of party, once a system under their aegis is questioned or pointed out for improvement, successive regimes only seek to defend yet do little to admit and remedy. The time for avoiding responsibility or blaming the other party is so 20th Century… Accept the faults and look at how best to make it easier in future for all sides involved!

While Barbadians must engage in healthier lifestyles (myself included) and while it is naive to expect Government to pay for every tongue depressor or stethoscope when visiting a Doctor, nevertheless there has to be a balance and Inniss nor Chase has every solution – this is why the Sagicor executive‘s presentation provided some balance to what could have degenerated into an unnecessary tug of war, when really decisive action and not further discussion is expected by all Barbadians regardless of political or financial ideology.

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