Health Minister Donville Inniss: “Legal immigrant? Pay tax? Get Stuffed on health care!”

Donville Inniss: Do you recognize the above website photo?

Happy Mother’s Day

Without repentance, there can be no forgiveness. That it true.

Health Minister Inniss has not repented…

by Passin Thru

Let’s say that a person legally immigrates to Barbados on a marital or employment status. They pay their taxes, have their pay deducted under the National Insurance Scheme. But five, six, seven, nine, ten years go by and their application for permanent residence is still “being processed”.

Then they get injured in an auto accident, or perhaps just start to get older and need some health care.

Health Minister Inniss has an answer: Immigrants needing health care should go back to where they came from because they are not welcome here.

Maybe that’s not true for everyone. Maybe if you were one of the women working in Barbados-based internet pornography you could get still free health care. Maybe I’m wrong.

Perhaps when Health Minister Inniss ran those pornographic websites, his women who performed sex acts online that he profited from were able to claim free health care in Barbados.

I don’t know.

I do know that Minister of Health Donville Inniss recently admitted that the entire immigration system is beyond control with 15,000 files backlog. The words “beyond control” are mine. The admission of 15,000 files backlog comes from Minister Inniss.

I have no answers, but I want to know if the sex workers who performed on the internet and made Inniss money were covered for free health care.

Minister Inniss: over to you.

Further Reading

Barbados Free Press requests that folks read the article at the Nation, but we have to reprint the entire article online here because sometimes the Nation removes or modifies articles to change history. Very naughty!

File jam

Minister Donville Inniss Opposition member Mia Mottley have conflicting views on immigrant health care, (FP)


A backlog of about 15 000 unprocessed immigrant applications has returned to haunt Government and the country’s health care system, says Minister of Health Donville Inniss.

He told the SUNDAY SUN yesterday his administration had inherited a situation where thousands of applications for varying kinds of immigrant status had not been processed.

He added the Immigration Department had been unable to process applications for both citizenship and permanent residence in a time-frame that would make most interested parties feel comfortable.

“In recent weeks we have been inundated with calls and complaints from people residing in Barbados for many years and who feel that they are entitled to free health care,” he said, explaining Government’s policy had always been that only Barbadian citizens and permanent residents were entitled to free treatment at public state-owned institutions.

According to the minister, Barbados had been very accommodating but the system had been abused. He noted people arrived in Barbados on the pretext of vacationing, incurred hefty health care costs, remained and never settled their bills.

“We also have several instances of fraudulent use of Barbados ID cards. . . . The only thing that we have done differently from the former administration is to insist on an appropriate means of ID being presented to health institutions,” he said.

But yesterday Opposition Member of Parliament Mia Mottley contended that though Inniss might mean well and cost-cutting measures might be needed across the board, the Ministry of Health was not a republic and the Immigration Department another state.

Mottley noted thousands of immigrants were no longer allowed to access free medical care even though they paid taxes and had monies deducted under the National Insurance Scheme (NIS). She added that they were now more vulnerable to diseases that could have serious consequences for the whole country.

“We have immigrants who have made applications for up to five years. They pay taxes, NIS and are eligible to vote, but [through] no fault of their own, they cannot have access to the health care system,” Mottley said.

Inniss reported that he had consulted with the ministry responsible for immigration about the number of outstanding applications and sought clarity on how soon they would be processed.

Efforts yesterday to reach Chief Immigration Officer Erine Griffith were unsuccessful.

Photo Credit: Got it off the web somewhere and we blacked out part of it. Perhaps Health Minister Inniss can tell us where it came from? Maybe he can’t. Don’t know which is worse.


Filed under Barbados, Ethics, Human Rights

28 responses to “Health Minister Donville Inniss: “Legal immigrant? Pay tax? Get Stuffed on health care!”

  1. Observer is an idiot.

    Why do I sense that the other shoe is ready to drop? Barbados Free Press, what do you know? You like to torture Inniss. Waht he going to do? Complain to WordPress? Ha ha!

  2. just want to know

    I think something has to be done about the Health care system in Barbados. The vast majority of people here know that the health service has been abused. What can The Health Minister do about it? Any one with knowledge how to right it, should help him, not condemn him, show some impartial political will. Can a small community like Barbados continue to have such a high health bill? Can we find ways of reducing it without patients being worse for it? these are some of the things we need to discuss. I worked in Health care and I know it has been abused, I am not asking< I am telling you, so please don't be abusive, try and find solutions.

  3. Found the website but can’t access ownership?

  4. Far East

    Seems to me that besides Islamic hate sites you guys are in to child porn too. What next?

  5. Son Of Spam

    No you idiot, Donville has shares in this Young & Tender website, that is what BFP are going on about – don’t change the topic, DEM!


    Well I’m not surprised about the 15,000 backload since they are still stuck doing things like it was 1980. Everything takes twice as long as it should. I have to laugh every time I go there and they print my receipt on there “dot matrix” printers. I can only imagine what software they are using for their database….if they even have one.

  7. Responder

    What is the real issue here, not that i like Donville Inniss that much, but let’s be reasonable. The issue here is the abuse of the health care system by persons with illegal status in this country, not persons that have a legitimate right to be here. Yes i agree that the Immigration Department needs to get its act together and work closely with the Health ministry in getting this issue resolved. Government needs to enhance its operations to have all departments networked. All it would take is a simple query to determine whether a non national is eligible for free treatment.

  8. what will they think of next

    Everyone and his mother seem to believe that Barbados is the free health care capital of the world.
    Guyanese, Jamaicans, Englishmen, Americans, Chinese and the list goes on and on.
    Is it only me that see a problem here?

  9. sam cooke and duppy

    since when barbados was the free willy united nations come get yuh bag of rice and vaccine fuh free depot of the region or world?

  10. what will they think of next

    sam cooch and de duppy not sam cooke and duppy.

  11. Jay

    Non-nationals are not eligible for Free-healthcare unless they are permanent residents that is the law,although I have to say personally Inniss’s business practices are suspect that doesn’t change what the law currently says on who is entitled to “Free healthcare & Education”

  12. Mark L. Fenty Sr.

    I’m not condoning the behavior of those individuals who has end Barbados without the proper documentation; but we have to be circumspect here, before we resort to inappropriate action that might be counterproductive. There is thousands of West Indian who has entered United States and Europe without the proper documentation, in an effort to advance their station in life. And their efforts regardless of how immoral it may seem, has contributed directly to the prosperity of our island to so some extent.

    Some may argue that this kind of behavior undermines the prescribed legitimate mandates of a sovereign state, but the evidence has shown conclusively that the greater percentage of West Indians has entered United States and Europe illegally. Their found loopholes in the law that has enabled them to readjust their status, and in the process they have become productive citizens of those nations.

    So give the people a break, I’m sure that there would prefer to be in the country of their birth rather than Barbados, but because of unfavorable economic circumstances, they did what their thought was right in their own minds.

  13. Responder

    Are you for real ? Mark L. Fenty Sr. You comparing Barbados, a small country with limited and shrinking resources to the mighty US and Europe with vast resources that can bear and cope with an influx of illegal aliens. What are you saying to us that pay taxes to contribute to our social services in this country. Majority of us who made it overseas did so legally, mate. So this foolishness about trying to make it here, and screw the rest of us, will never sit well with me. If i had my way, I would put every person with illegal status in this country the f… out. Go and lobby and agitate in your own country for better, rather than coming here and sponging off us who work hard as ass in this country to make it where it is today.

  14. Anonymous

    well said responder. Nothing more to add

  15. Mark L. Fenty Sr.

    Responder, I hear you however, the point that I was trying to emphasize, is the manner in which some individuals gain legitimate status after entering a country illegal. Then after obtaining their legal status contribute to the advancement of that society.

    I know that I’m comparing oranges to apples, when I’m comparing Barbados to Countries such as the United States of America, and that of Europe. However, one must taking into consideration the fact that the size of a country isn’t a determinant factor in the kind resources it possesses.

    Take for the sake of arguing the side of United States and that of Canada, the United States is much smaller that Canada, but it is or was a much wealthier country. The fact that Barbados in terms of its economic ability to offer hope to those Caribbean people; who economic vicissitudes are unfavorable at this time, is a great thing in my book.

    We must be cognizant of the fact that the table isn’t turn, and then Barbadians by the hundreds would probably be flooding the other islands in the Caribbean in search of a better life. A good example of this narrative that is being played out in Barbados; is when Ghana was experience political turmoil thousands of Ghanaians rushed over the border to Nigeria, only to be deported back to their country by the thousands. Now the table has been turned, Ghana has emerged as one of the most stable democracies in Africa, and now the Nigerians with all their oil are flocking to Ghana by the thousands in search of a better life.

  16. Danny River

    Responder is clueless about what you are saying Mr. Fenty, about bajans that leave for Europe, N. America or elsewhere and got health care,deliver babies and then return to Barbados or stay and got residence because of that baby. What the minister is saying that a person would be refused to be treated if they`re are not citizens, although they are in the country legal. It does not suprise me when some of these bajan politicians speak and their followers go on with them because they can`t think for themselves. Since Responder say that he/she would send them out of Barbados, let the other countries do the same,I would have no problem with that. As Lil Rick would say, “do for dooo”.

  17. Responder

    Danny River, if there was do for do, the amount of illegal aliens that would get put out Barbados, it would take about fifty plane loads. I make no excuses for defending my country’s resources, protecting my borders. Don’t you see that everybody else is doing that?. Is Barbados to be the jackass of the Caribbean?. I will give my support and loyalty to any party, Prime Minister, that defends this country from any threat to our way of life.

  18. Mark L. Fenty Sr.

    I know that it is highly unlikely to find a valid basis for defending someone who has violated the prescribed mandates of a sovereign state.
    But the issue lies far beyond undermining legitimacy of Barbadian governmental autonomy.

    I believe that we have failed to recognize that the Caribbean nationals, who are currently residing in Barbados in an illegal status, are there out of necessity; and not out of a need to exploit the country resources. Beyond that we can only speculate.

    However, if one carefully examines the laws that govern civil society, one would find enough evidence to invalid the actions of those Caribbean nationals who has violated Barbados laws.

    But I believe that one must also look beyond the civil mandates that direct human society. In order to examine the national moral compass of a people, as it relates to illegal immigration. The question is how do we find an appropriate equilibrium between what seem to be a moral cry for help; against the empirical laws governs the behavior of a society? Or does the violation of the civil laws; evident the kind of action a government takes when it punishes those who break its laws out of a necessity and need to survive.

    As I have said earlier, I’m not eulogizing this type of action on the part of the Caribbean nationals, who resides in any country without going through the proper channel to do so. But if we call our self a member of Caricom; then are we working in the best interest of the region by deporting those Caribbean nationals back to a place of despair?

    The problem it seems lies more in the immigration authority inability to police effectively the illegal immigrant that is flooding Barbados.
    I know that every in civil society government has a moral responsibility to act in conformity to what the law requires and commands of them. But it is also important that we examine with meticulous eyes; the conditions that give rise to the current immigration problem that seem to be dominating the public awareness in Barbados.

    This immigration affair also shows that in the Caribbean, economic uncertainty of one island state, directly impacts in real term, that stability of the other islands states. Which is evident by the number of Caribbean nationals flooding to Barbados, and many other islands in search of to better economic conditions to make an honest living?

    Which leads me to ask this question, are we sacrificing the moral dignity of those who needs our help, at the expense of empirical predetermining mandates that give consent to this kind of action by government? In other words the issue of illegal immigration supersedes the empirical man made laws that gives justification for determine that someone has violated a country’s sovereignty. But at the same time pays little attention to the fact that the suffering of human beings must be view in terms of its moral imperative.

    With this being said, we must ask ourselves the question, why would someone give up their fixed and conformed ways of life, discarding everything there know, to risk crossing the dangerous seas? It is the same reason I left Barbados some twenty five years ago in search of better opportunity that Barbados could not offer me at the time. And thank God that I had family who were able to going through the legal process to get me in the United States of America. But this weren’t cases for a great percentage of the people I know who took the unconventional path to gain their citizenship in America and are productive citizens of that country today.

    I think that it is a narrow frame of reasoning to advanced that view, that illegal Caribbean nationals; would somehow contribute to the liquidation of Barbados national resources by placing heavy demands of the healthcare system of Barbados.

    To cure the irrational fears of those Barbadians who are insensitive to the plight of their fellow West Indian, the government of Barbados should follow the precedence of some African states, and, call on the assistance of the International Red Cross to establish refugee camps to ameliorate these conditions.

    If we call ourselves a nation that is grounded in hospitality and compassionate, why deport these Caribbean nationals back to a situation that is going further increase their suffering.

    Alex de Tocqueville, a French aristocrat who was sent by the government of French to study America democracy, “said that it is only when one is in a foreign country there appreciated the county of the birth” I’m paraphrasing here. I find this old adage to be plausible based on my time spend in America.

    I know that this doesn’t justify someone violating the legal directives of a sovereign state, but I believe that it took courage on the part of these Caribbean nationals to discard their way of life in the hope of a better future so their believe in Barbados.

    Some may argue that allowing these Caribbean nationals a free passage; undermine the very foundation of the Barbados system of government. But I content that when I lived in Barbados in the town area, most of the Caribbean nationals who live there were more productive than many of the Barbadian people who denigrated and besmeared them. There had their own businesses better home etc, so it says to my fellow country men and women show some compassion.

    We all most work collectively to create a better Caribbean for ourselves and our posterity, but our fractionalization and ostracism continue to fragment the region producing what I term a new social order of animosity. And this is can result in deplorable consequences that can prove destructive for all the islands of the Caribbean.

    Finally, we have a moral responsibility not just as Barbadians, but as a member of assemblage of the human race to lend assistance to those who are in need.

  19. observer

    it is clear that a lot of Barbadians do not understand the drain on our health services when persons who are here illegally use the the id card of barbadain children to access free health care for their children. Barbadians have invested over the years to contribute to the value added of our socail structures. That mean no fly by night person should come and sponge off our system which we have toiled to develop. Do you understand when i say years of toil by BarBadians to develop the socail structures.

    The GOVERNMENT has a policy where an illness will compromise the health of the population people will receive the medical care they desire, for example T B and other diseases. It pains me when some people dont have a clue about what they are blogging about. Barbados is not a free for all. We have rules and regulations that must be enforced. If Barbadians go overseas and remain illegally that is the responsibilty of the host county. Such argument is spurious. I am interested in how my hard earn tax dollars are spent.

    I commend Minster Innmis for dealing with the exploitation o our system, and i Want to see the Minister of Education tackle the problem of illegals in our school systems which is placing a strain on our educational resources.

    Minister Inniss continue the work your constituents are behind you.

  20. Solrac

    I can definitely relate to Responder but at the same time I can see where Mark is coming from. The sad truth of the matter Mark is that although we will like to be a people who help others, we must face the situation of the real world and understand the ability to help others in part affected by our economic station.

    A guy who has a good job can frequently sign up to donate $$$ each month to different causes but if he loses his job should he continue doing this? Will he be considered selfish if he tries to keep what money he has to support himself or children?

    Barbados in terms of standard of living is in a better position than quite a few of our caribbean brothers and sisters but we are in some difficult financial times and thus we need to addess these cases of abuse.

    Another factor to consider is I’ve realise when folks are generous to others in these modern times, the subsequent perception is not one of a clap on the back and thanks… rather it is one where this generousity is abused. If our health care system fail because of lack of funds, both illegal and legal people will suffer so I would argue lets ensure those of legal standing are secure.

    There are no tooth fairies, santa clause or magical grandmothers out there so I support the notion of tightening up our ship (just like many western countries) and ensure we stay afloat.

  21. Mark L. Fenty Sr.

    The same argument is being contested in the United States of America, on the right there are those who believe that it is just not right to reward law breakers; while on the left of the divide, those who are arguing for the Dream Act.

    The Dream Act is very specific in its aim; it creates a legal path to citizenship for undocumented immigrant who has arrived in the United States with their Parents before the age of 16. It requires that undocumented immigrants attend college or serve in the military.
    Unfortunately, the Dream Act was defeated in the U.S. Senate in December. But it nonetheless, has potentially offered some measure of hope to those poor immigrants from Asia, South America, Africa, and the Caribbean.

    Observer, you have advanced your unwavering conviction and staunched opposition, to those illegal Caribbean nationals. Who are liquidating as you stated categorically Barbados economic resources? But there is a failure on your part to note, the sacrifice of the many Barbadians immigrant’s legal and illegal, who resides in America, Canada, and England that work hard every day to send their money back to Barbados, to advanced economic conditions of the island.

    Of course we can agree that Barbados has enjoyed relatively a good standard of living in comparison to some of the islands in the Caribbean. And that this immigration situation has played a pivotal role in help us to develop an increase awareness, understanding and appreciation for the blessings the good God has bestowed upon us as a nation. But at the same time, it is a matter of understanding and redefining the laws that govern immigration in Barbados couple with the improvement of the immigration enforcement.

    In conclusion, if one examine the historical unfolding of America democracy, one would find documentary evident to support the view that Europeans has encroached upon the Native American Lands; the same way poor people from the Caribbean and many other countries enter the United States illegally.

  22. Just like to know

    You know the people who are advocating free health care for all illegal immigrants should pay an extra $10:00 from their salaries every month. Since our health care system is to be a free for all I think that is the way to go, and let us see who will pay extra and who will object to the extra tax, don’t you think so? that is one issue the Government can use.

  23. observer

    @ Mr. Fenty

    I dont deal with emotive agruments go to Barbados Underground and read the blog that a gentleman place there, it was placed today or yesterday. I wish I were as eloquent as him, but it encapsules who is entilteld to free health care. That policy was there every since but abused by those who had a vested interest to protect, including some of the consultants who would sneak their private patints into the hospital with out the Medical Record Clerks knowledge or the Accounts Department..

    So if you dont understand and dont have the research skills to research the policy, ask a easoned reseracher to do it for you. Mia Mottley ought to be ashame to get embroiled in this matter. Her Government was laspe in enforcing the policy, and Owen encouraged illegal immigation to barbados and he even employed an illegal.

    Get you facts if you want to take me on. Permanent residents and citizens are entitled to free health care, not because you pay income tax and national insurance. You must have status to qualify.

    Have you ever wondered why Barbadians pay less to Visit Harrisons Cave than non-barbadians. it is because we Barbadians invested in the infrastructure over time, and the non-bardians enjoy what we have developed over time, hence they need to pay more to use the Harrisons Cave it is simple as A B C.

  24. Mark L. Fenty Sr.

    To those people who believe that Barbados isn’t going to reach a state of economic decline to the point; where thousands of Barbadians are going to be flooding the more prosperous islands of the Caribbean think again. And this I believe is going to be directly attributed to the antiquated tourist industry that Barbados relies on so heavily for its foreign exchange. Couple with our insensitivity toward our Caribbean national who current resides in Barbados in an illegal status.

    It is important that we restrain our own biases in order to make an objective assessment of this immigration issue. The people in Barbados have every reason to believe that there are being victimized by people who appears to be freeloaders. However, it is quite the contrary, because when I look at the people of the Caribbean I see a people who are independent, industrious, and who are dress with great sense of moral decorum.

    I’m speaking as a Bajan who once lived in the city of Barbados amount many Caribbean nationals; who I considered my close friends still today, and I have found most of them to be people who were hard working and ambitious.

    Clearly our sense of right and wrong about this immigration issue are predicated upon our inability to objectively, logically view it without being emotionally charged. And therefore, we should not loose sight of the fact, that the issue of illegal immigration in Barbados should not be attributed to the Caribbean national unilaterally, but to the inability of an immigration system the failed to police the problem effectively.

  25. observer

    So what, if you are wrong you cannot be right. No wonder why we have so much indiffernce in society, when peole like you can argue that wrong is right.

    I am not advocating that we disrespect our Caribbean brothers, but you cant expect to be here and dont qualify for a service and expect to receive it. Soon you would be arguing that they should get welfare assistance as well.

    I have no problemwithif Barbadians emigarte to greenr pastures, but if they emigrat illegally then they should not exspect to benefit from the social services, except for humanitarion reasons and that happen even in America.

    Until Caricom deals with the issue of contingency rights, the debate will continue.

    If they come for a vacation they should return home and apply to be in Barbados in the right way, it is people like you who encourage them to verstay and work illegally and marry for convenience and flout our immigration laws. Thank God that there was a change of Government else our social services would have been under further strain to cope.

  26. Pingback: Immigration debate rages on | Barbados Free Press

  27. Mark L. Fenty Sr.

    A common practice that I have sought to avoid is to embrace an absolute position on any given issue; even when the relative facts are at my disposal. And this has allowed me to lift the veil of ignorant that so often impedes my better judgment. So therefore, I’m not here to canonize or demonize any aspect of this immigration debate, but merely trying to establish the fact that we have to looking beyond the periphery of the empirical laws; that directs the affairs of civil government, in an effort to balance the laws of society, and that of our moral conscious.

    So therefore, it is quite conspicuous that there are honest differences of opinion with regards to this immigration debate. Nevertheless, we must also taking into consideration, the view of life which holds: “do onto others as you would have them done to you”. This involves our moral judgment, and capacity to make those decisions based on what we believe is right, rather what the present laws that governs immigration: prescribes, entails, commands, and mandates.

    So with this perspective in mind, are we then acting on the juristic mandates that direct human society? Rather than on our moral imperative that instructs us, that the suffering of human being must take precedence over the existing laws that direct our thinking, and influences our actions?

  28. observer

    @Mark Fenty

    We are acting with judicious prudence, when a law is broken should the judge deal with moraliy or the mitigating fact surrounding the case which will allow him/her to deduce which law (s) have been broken so that he/she can make a determination about what sentenc to inflict. In some instances, the judge has lattitude and he/she can impose a maxium or minimun sentence.

    The Goverment has stated that where the health of the nation will be compromised, persons here not entitled to health care will receive the necessary care, what part of that statement you dont understand. Isnt that not acting judiciously. As you would appreciate, morality can be subjective based on who is looking at what and that is why you are pushing the moral argument which will not stand up in a court of law or the court of public justice. I dont however intend to deal with this subject from a philososphical position, as I am capable of doing so.

    I am dealing with it from a pratical position and those who are not entiled to health care based on the laws of Barbados and the policy cannot benefit and should not benefit, except for extenuating circumstances. If I know that I can break the law and benfit because i can argue morality then I will continue to break the law and other people would do likewise. If you qualify under the amnesty that was given, when you become regularise you will get what you are entiled to.

    A policy that needs to be implemented is to hold persons responsible for the medical care of those they invite to the coutry if they dont have health insurance should they become ill while on vacation. That will deal with one aspect of the illegals. I would go further and state we should insist on travel/health insurance for travellers from the Region. Some Commonwealth Countires are requesting visas from citizens from the Region. Have you ever wondered why?

    By the way, I am in favour of manged migration, like what the Unions have been calling for all along. Managed migration deal with a shortge where people can be brought in to fill that shortage and return home when there is no shortage.
    If we continue with this soft approach we will continue to be kicked in our butts. Look how Trinidad treat us with our flying fish that gone into their waters and Barbados must be the only ignorant coutry. When the economich crunch Hit Bahamas what did they do with the Illegals Mr. Fenty and tell me what did Antigua did.

    We cannot and will not be the whipping boy for the rest of the Caribbean. By the way I have family in Guyana, Trinidad, St. Vincent and a few more coutries and I would not invite them to overstay their time if they visit Bim. I dont intend to pay any more taxes to support persons who are not enitled to benfits. If I go to Trinidad, Jamaica or St. Vincent I would have to pay for healt care. By the way do you know how much money some of those Eastern Caribbean Countries owe the Barbados Government for treating their citizens? nough.