In the past week the Caribbean has been abuzz with stories and opinion pieces about the Barbados government’s decision to deny free health care to visitors – with the exception of real emergencies, of course.
Two of our readers chime in with their five and an half pennies. First up: Kammie Holder…
Barbados Health Care in The Amputation Capital of the World!
When in Ghana a couple months ago I cannot remember seeing obese persons. What I did see were plenty of markets selling vegetables and not a brand name fast food restaurant in sight. In Barbados our lifestyle coupled with our “progress” has led us to the enviable position of being the amputation capital of the world and the country in the Caribbean with a highest population of obese persons. Those are my observations and if the stats prove me wrong it won’t be by much.
Thus it may surprise you to learn that we spend $53 million in drugs; $36 million with private pharmacies and $12 million of that is for dispensing fees. My research has uncovered that the ratio of generic to branded drugs on the formulary has being about 70:30 for the last 10 years.
As a person intimately involved in the sale of medical insurance I believe that every effort must be made to encourage doctors and pharmacist to eliminate wastage when prescribing and dispensing – without compromising patient care. I dare say a more holistic approach must be taken by doctors rather than offering drugs for every ailment. Medical professionals should be suggesting exercise and the changing of eating habits.
Some will be surprised and offended to know that over $250 million is spent to treat non-communicable diseases and other related illnesses. There are also indirect costs in loss of productivity and disruption to family cohesion. Every citizen has a choice to exercise, reduce sodium and eat healthier.
As a society we are very selective in what brand of gasoline they put in their cars yet anything is placed into our mouths.
Within recent days Barbados has being taking verbal beatings from its neighbors about the enforcement of a regulation which allows only permanent residents and citizens to benefit from free drugs while emergency as well treatment for communicable diseases will be free to all.
The country is being vilified unjustifiably by those without any long term vision and not a modicum of good governance. How many countries offer free bus fare, free school books, free education, free lunch, free health care and a uniform grant? I say to our neighbors your jealousy is showing as a man truly reveals his feelings when angry.
Here is a post from the Starbroek news, “Nature is lifting the veil and the whole Caribbean is now getting a true glimpse of their pompousness and arrogance. They are now being exposed for who they truly are.”
We have elected Barbadian politicians to govern our affairs and act in our best interest to maintain our progress and that is what they have done to try and bring our health costs under control. The government must also move post haste to make premiums paid on a Health Plan tax deductible.
Kammie Holder LUTCF, FSS
Next: Anonymous reader “Dave U. Random”…
Health Care cut-off: A Racist Attack for Political Reasons
by “Dave U. Random”
I am reading in today’s (April 6, 2011) Nation newspaper about the disturbing decision from the Ministry Of Health of Barbados to exclude non-nationals from medical assistance.
I find this decision to be discriminatory, racist and short minded. Let me explain why:
The government of Barbados asks any resident in this country to pay taxes, no matter if they are a citizen or not. But when it comes to giving health assistance the Government discriminates based on the “bajan race”.
So here it comes the racist part: unless you belong to the bajan race you have no rights, you have to pay your taxes and shut up! Interesting concept isn’t it? That goes against any civil rights.
To be honest what really concerns me is this: The DLP government knows that Barbados has relatively few immigrants, so why this new decision to cut off the non nationals from health care?? The answer is: low profile politics.
The DLP is well aware that elections are around the corner and to make sure to maintain the seats in the parliament they want the Barbadian base on their side. They DLP are attacking non-nationals to impress the short minded part of the community and gain their support..
I call it short minded simply because Barbados without foreign presence would collapse, considered that most of the economy of this island is supported by tourism.
But many bajans do not like people from overseas anyhow and the DLP is well aware of that.
Mr. Inniss with his sleepy and fatty face, with his government, does not realize that attacking visitors and immigrants is going to became a boomerang for him and the entire Nation.
If the Barbados Government has so many issues with non nationals why not tell them that they are not welcome. Why not just tell immigrants and non-nationals to leave the Country? Go ahead and we’ll see the consequences with the World Community.