Health Minister justifies new tax on unhealthy items

Darroux said CNCDs are having a serious impact on the nation's economy. Photo: Gov't Press Attache
Darroux said CNCDs are having a serious impact on the nation’s economy. Photo: Gov’t Press Attache

Health Minister, Dr. Kenneth Darroux, has sought to explain government’s decision on the implementation of new taxes in the 2015/2016 National Budget on certain unhealthy products.

He told a government-organized town hall meeting on Thursday night that the tax will go into programs aimed at combating Chronic Non Communicable Diseases (CNCDs).

Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit during the budget presentation said a 10 percent tax increase will be placed on cigars, cigarettes, alcohol beverages, as well as food and drinks with high sugar content.

The Prime Minister justified the new taxes measure by citing the “bad practices” of smoking, excessive consumption of alcohol and foods with high sugar content, as major contributors to ill health.

Darroux told the town hall meeting that CNCDs are having a major impact on the island’s economy and the people.

“I have some statistics before me that shows for the period 2010 to 2014, we had 137 amputations performed due to diabetes, or rather uncontrolled diabetes, people not taking their medication, people probably not adhering to the diet that their doctor recommended,” he stated.

The Health Minister revealed other statistics, which he described as “very frightening.”

“For the period 2004 to 2013 we had 1,188 deaths due to various types of cancer, and the alarming thing about the cancer is that whereas before certain types of cancers prevailed up in what we call the geriatric age, we see these cancers appearing in younger patients and younger patients, people with scores of productive years ahead of them,” he noted.

He mentioned further that the incident of obesity among the 0 to 5 age group is 3.4 percent, while 6.9 percent of children of that age group is overweight.

“Obesity in adult females is estimated as 32.7 percent and adult males a 8.6 percent,” Dr. Darroux noted. “The prevalence of high blood pressure among adults is 32.1 percent; one of every 3 adults in Dominica is hypertensive and diabetes 17.7 percent, one out of every 10.”

He added, “So these measures that were put in this year’s budget you can understand, as the Prime Minister and Minister of Finance stated and stressed in his presentation, it is not a measure to earn income and he mentioned that the monies raised from these will go into programs as it pertains to combating CNCDs,” he said.

Dr. Darroux is also took aim at critics of the island’s health care system.

“I refuse to sit by or standby or lie down and allow people to say that the health sector or the health services in Dominica is the worst in the region or the worst in the world,” he said. “We are certainly in a much better place where we are today…”

He indicated that over the years the government has made a number of policy moves to ensure that the health service in Dominica is up to par.

“We can speak to the policy of free medical service or free medical care to people 18 years and under or attending school and also 60 and above,” he noted. “We can speak to a new intensive care unit which over the years would have save the lives of a number of people especially those involved in acute diseases, accidents, before flying them over if necessary to overseas hospitals.”

He said that there has been an increase in the number of dialysis machines for people on renal failure.

“We have a whole diagnostic unit at the Princess Margaret Hospital where we have new state of the art CT Scan machines, mammograms, electronic and digitalized X-rays,” he remarked. “Of course we are not where we want to be, but if we look at what is happening in the world today I don’t think that any one country is where it wants to be in the health sector.”

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84 Comments

  1. Malpardee
    August 10, 2015

    Partner tax or no tax people will smoke and drink their koolaid, tang or soca. How many ads showing how cancer kills. For example in the us, it doesn’t matter how much a pack of cigarette cost, peope still purchase it. People do what pleases them.

  2. chicken gone ye
    August 10, 2015

    the most unhealty thing in dominica is couropt politicians …..who gonna tax them 8) 8) 8) 8)

  3. August 10, 2015

    My partner and friend Doc make sure when the Tax on alcohol is increased ZAID is not included. The poor people need some form of relief.

    • Me
      August 11, 2015

      So ironic, isn’t it? Zaid is untaxed and I’m sure it will remain so. It is a poor people’s drink and sure to kill faster too than regular, taxed alcohol. That is the picture everywhere. The poor have a lower live expectancy and higher incidence of illness.

  4. Jahboy
    August 10, 2015

    So many people disappointed in you mopsy. Too many people disappointed.

  5. zaid pig..
    August 9, 2015

    Ah Kenko….you there echoing and giving credence to that rubbish about taxing busta and sweetie… a bright man like you man.. you used to be an independent thinker we garcon. Awa garcon you disappointing me..next thing you will support those fellas to tax the wabiyo too, man?!

  6. Anon
    August 9, 2015

    A move in the right direction but typical. There seems to be poor/No PLANNING and BRAIN-STORMING for solutions. The same ‘No planning’ was seen in the ….’Here’s $500,000 for ‘the music industry’, without first defining what ‘the music industry’ is, then targeting some aspects of it to finance and make viable. There is no mention of high salt foods, fast food businesses (high fat and salt, though Subway had lower fat but now closed), added incentives for vegetable farmers. This move though good, sounds incomplete and poorly planned.

  7. Analy Thomas
    August 8, 2015

    Cut the crap….. health tourism! construct a new up to date hospital, have the medical schools lease and register for usage and open to the Caribbean an affordable healthcare system where you either build housing accommodations or let the private sector do that with standards. Turn the hands of time and do our own stuff…… no more Guadeloupe, Martinique and Barbados (although we appreciate what they did) but let us be independent and do our own thing….. grow our economy…. Our brains seem lazy! That’s a solution……

  8. Analy Thomas
    August 8, 2015

    Maybe the government should think of taxing “bling bling” on vehicles beginning on its ministers. That should ease the economy….

  9. imperial prince
    August 8, 2015

    Don’t know the standard of other hospitals, so can’t say its the worst. But i doubt its the best since despite the improvement in the new ICU people still has to be flown overseas. Don’t know what up to par means in this context….
    I agree that as far as availability it is there for taking. But some of the posters make sense what about the healthy foods? And the affordability? Everything being costly is not benefitting those it was supposed to address. But is our healthcare as a system where it could be? Not speaking of fancy equipment and bonafide personnel, but what we have now, is this the best we can do, can produce?
    You know wish it had a programme where our peopele once in awhile could just honestly ask our leaders both in Government and fundamental intitutions questions along these lines with the freedom of a three year old.

    • imperial prince
      August 8, 2015

      Of course is the question is who put the price on the healthy foods, there’s scarely any place which produced mass and diverse crops, vegetables fruits, ect. Its those in the buisness which set prices based at times on their financial expenditure and effort, seeking a profit, some will want to make more than they should. But people are the ones buying. Correct me if im wrong but that should’nt be just the government fault with their influence being palpable but also the everyday folks involved in this market.

      not decrying any but how can we be so politically minded on every aspect of society and every discussion on places like dno in Dominica?

  10. Wadi
    August 8, 2015

    The whole situation is a shambles!! So are there going to be more tax’s on KFC, PIZZA and FAST FOOD IN GENERAL! The huge problem I am seeing is that the young women are getting fatter and fatter and fatter?????????????? This is because in some warped way they unfortunately think they will be more attractive to men!! We men are giving the message that this is what turns us on!!! Unbelievable! Everyone here is hurting, everyone here has no recreation so!! Dr. Darroux or Mr Darroux is making sure we have no fun at all. What is wrong with a glass of wine or a beer or a herbed rum at night? Dr. Darroux Mr Darroux you look like you have a rather large girth Sir!!! By the way where is it in print that the tax’s are going? Where is it in print that the money is going for the passports???? Where is the accountability. We as Citizens of Dominica have a right to know????? :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :)

    • The Hand
      August 10, 2015

      What you talking about? we’re talking about cost of food you talking about what turning you on?
      Im confused, please post again.

  11. A. Non E. Mus
    August 8, 2015

    “I have some statistics before me that shows for the period 2010 to 2014, we had 137 amputations performed due to diabetes, or rather uncontrolled diabetes, people not taking their medication, people probably not adhering to the diet that their doctor recommended.”
    Pray, tell, Dr. Darroux, how will taxing people make them take their medication, or stick to their doctor recommended diet? By the way, how will this tax be administered? Will it be like VAT? Will every retailer have to record the number of sodas, cigarettes, etc sold and the tax collected so the right amounts go to fighting CNCD? Have any thoughts been given to the programmes that these taxes will fund? Do the prime minister and his ministers sit in cabinet meetings laugh at us, saying how stupid we are?

  12. Jen
    August 8, 2015

    What is the goal here, Is it a concern for the health of the population or is it just about generating more revenue for the govt?
    Sir, I believe it the latter, at the very least be honest and call it what is it. Even if I disagree I would respect your opinion. The govt cannot legislate human behavior, people will still consume unhealthy foods and you know this, which is why this is a way to generate additional revenue for the govt. You mention people are not taking their medication, tell me do you plan to legislate this as well? That’s rubbish!!!!! Why not try a different approach if you are truly concern about what I drink. How about education outreach, promote exercise in schools like in the old days (DGS) encourage people to walk more, everyone drives these days. Focus on promoting a voluntary change and people will get on board. Imposing a tax on unhealthy foods is not the way to go.

  13. Francisco Telemaque
    August 8, 2015

    Mr. great medical doctor, minister of government talking puppet: the following is a list of non-communicable diseases, meaning they cannot be transmitted from person to another. almost all of the following are disease people are born with that is why they are term genetic. So how are you going to cure something which has no cure?

    Albinism
    Bardet-Biedl syndrome
    Bipolar disorder
    Canavan disease
    Color blindness
    Cystic fibrosis
    Down’s syndrome
    Fragile X syndrome
    Galactosemia
    Hemophilia
    Krabbe disease
    Muscular dystrophy
    Neurofibromatosis
    Noonan syndrome
    Osteogenesis
    Patau syndrome
    Sickle-cell disease
    Tay-Sachs disease
    Triple X syndrome
    Turner syndrome
    Usher syndrome
    Von Hippel-Lindau syndrome
    Waardenburg syndrome
    Wilson’s disease
    Xeroderma pigmentosum

    • Francisco Telemaque
      August 8, 2015

      Darroux, I do not have a medical degree, but I may have studied the same discipline as you; I have a medical background, and I think it is a disgrace for one who claims to be a medical trained doctor in the twenty-first century would disgrace himself to openly talk such fart! The taxes are necessary to rise revenue, to run the country. But this nonsense about dealing with non-communicable diseases is a fraud. So tell me which of the following you have a cure!

      Appendicitis
      Anorexia nervosa
      Arteriosclerosis
      Asthma
      Carpal tunnel syndrome
      Chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases
      Emphyema
      Fetal alcohol syndrome
      Glaucoma
      Fibromyalgia
      Hyperthyroidism
      Hypothyroidism
      Irritable Bowel Syndrome
      Liver cirrhosis
      Narcolepsy
      Osteoporosis
      Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
      Tick paralysis

  14. Francisco Telemaque
    August 8, 2015

    I do not know where Darroux got his medical degree from, but what I do know is that this guy falls short of being a medical doctor. To talk such crap about the reason for the tax increase is be used to fight non-communicable disease, is nothing more than a fraud: I will have to do this in different Phases but if DNO print them all the will have a clearer understand that just about all of such diseases are genetic, so how is that idiot going to eradicate such illnesses!
    Here is a short list of Non Communicable Diseases List with Analysis
    Risk Factors of NCD: Some risk factors of non-communicable diseases include the environment, lifestyle or background such as the genetics, age, exposure to air pollution or gender of a person. Some behaviors such as a lack of physical activity, poor diet or smoking which could lead to obesity or hypertension can also increase the risk of developing some non-communicable diseases. Many of these are considered preventable because the condition can be…

    • Francisco Telemaque
      August 8, 2015

      1. Diabetes
      Diabetes limits the body’s ability to process glucose normally. Type 1 diabetes which is present from birth causes the pancreas to be destroyed by the immune system, causing glucose to build up in the bloodstream. Type 2 diabetes is developed over time causing the cells to resist the effects of insulin, causing unhealthy levels of glucose in the bloodstream. Risk factor of Type 2 diabetes is being overweight or obese.

      2. Hypertension
      This is caused when an individual consistently has a blood pressure reading over 140/90. This can be caused by diabetes, smoking, excessive salt intake, obesity or kidney disease.

      3. Osteoporosis
      This condition causes a decrease in bone mass which can make the bones brittle and at higher risk for damage. Around 80 percent of people who have osteoporosis are women. Additional factors which increase the risk of this disease are the presence of diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, inactivity, low sex hormone levels or smoking.

      4…

      • Francisco Telemaque
        August 8, 2015

        4. Alzheimer’s
        This condition causes dementia in those in advanced age, or over 60 years old. Symptoms of this condition can vary but often include getting lost, memory loss, difficulty managing daily tasks or managing money, personality changes, loss of bodily control or delusions.

        5. Heart Disease
        This is a very broad category of diseases which impact the circulatory system or heart. This can include congenital heart disease, rhythm irregularities, heart failure, heart attack, unstable angina, mitral valve prolapse, aortic regurgitation, cardiogenic shock or endocarditis.

        6. Fibromyalgia
        This disease causes damage to soft tissue in the body. It can lead to sleep disturbance patterns, widespread pain, exhaustion or irregular heartbeat. With time the symptoms can progress causing cognitive or memory difficulties, jaw pain, nasal congestion, headaches or irritable bowel syndrome.

        7. Lung Cancer
        Lung cancer causes malignant cell growth in the lung tissue, often as a result…

      • Francisco Telemaque
        August 8, 2015

        7. Lung Cancer
        Lung cancer causes malignant cell growth in the lung tissue, often as a result of exposure to pollutants or the use of tobacco products. As many as 90 percent of lung cancer cases are caused by smoking with non-smokers having a very small risk of this disease.

        8. Leukemia
        Leukemia causes the body to produce abnormal blood cells that then release malignant cells into the bloodstream. Since the bloodstream carries these malignant cells throughout the body they can affect other tissues such as the nervous system, skin or liver. While this disease is often associated with children, most patients are actually men over 60.

        9. Skin Cancer
        Skin cancer is caused when ultraviolet rays damage the skin cells. This can appear anywhere on the body but is most common on the skin. Those that have low pigmentation in the skin such as redheads, blondes or those with blue eyes tend to be at higher risk for this disease. Limiting direct skin exposure can significantly reduce the…

      • Francisco Telemaque
        August 8, 2015

        9. Skin Cancer
        Skin cancer is caused when ultraviolet rays damage the skin cells. This can appear anywhere on the body but is most common on the skin. Those that have low pigmentation in the skin such as redheads, blondes or those with blue eyes tend to be at higher risk for this disease. Limiting direct skin exposure can significantly reduce the risk of developing skin cancer and with early detection this disease is 95 percent curable.

        10. Seizures or Epilepsy
        Seizures are caused by a neurologic malfunction that causes abnormal electrical activity within the brain. These can be localized or cause symptoms such as numbness that stems from an explosive firing of nerves in the brain. Tumors or brain damage can cause someone to develop this disease.There is no cure for epilepsy but medications can help to reduce the frequency of seizures.

        All of the above are genetic; predisposed, how is he going to correct that!

  15. Interesting
    August 8, 2015

    Not sure whether to call the people here who ” talk down” Dominica all the time “patriots or enemies of state”. I do hope they live on island, and are playing a meaningful role in the island’s development; because tomorrow when all is said and done, Dominica will be the victim you would have created. We say in Dominica “talk is cheap”
    It is ok to criticize the government’s policy. But ” talking down” the island and calling each other names. NO!

    • Tjebe fort
      August 11, 2015

      Sure you mean taking down and not talking down bro. We are talking about the people that are supposed make Dominica progress, the people chosen to lead us but are dismantling the country to fill their own pockets, pillaging and disrespecting the people that elected them.
      They have no time for the common man again. and laughing at them from high up. Yes, these people I must always talk down because I am a patriot

  16. the bushmaninda
    August 8, 2015

    It is obvious that the eating habits of many Dominicans needs improvement . Surely the large number of obese persons one sees in public is testament to this fact. I have no doubt that the statistics regarding the health of Dominicans, as quoted by the Minister is indeed accurate and are indicative of the poor eating habits of the population on a whole. Most Dominicans believe that it is an obligation of government to ensure the good health of citizens. In pursuing this obligation a government has options, from an outright ban on harmful substances to the implementation of policies designed to encourage healthy lifestyles. The intent of this new tax policy is encourage Dominicans to reduce their intake of tobacco, alcohol and sugar. Is the consumption of tobacco, alcohol and sugar really a major cause of the health issues we see in Dominica? Maybe so, but what about franchise fried chicken. Franchise chicken negatively affects more then the health of citizens. Why was it not addressed.

  17. Peter Potter
    August 8, 2015

    Look, all of a sudden Skerrit allows his Ministers to speak. Take some shame, Darroux. Your statement that the health system is no worse and no better than anywhere else in the region is a blatant lie. I guess that is why all you travel to the French islands and to the USA to get your ailments treated. The Marigot hospital is still not operational and the PMH is an utter disgrace. So, that is what you call no better or worse than in the region? We do not buy your stale fish anymore, go and sell it to someone else. The administration you serve is the biggest failure in the short history of Dominica since independence. And guess what, it will only get worse unless there is a change very soon.

  18. BooHoo
    August 8, 2015

    So then, you cannot afford sweet drink and you already cannot afford healthy drink and the country already haven’t got enough local drink, what is the solution? What are the choices? When we make such decisions, we need to offer options. What are the options? Don’t just tell me buy local. Where is the local? How much is a grapefruit? When there is no grapefruit then………….

    • The Real Facts - ON
      August 10, 2015

      Drink water, God’s gift to humankind.

  19. BRAIN DAMAGE
    August 8, 2015

    Rum is the only thing selling in Dominica. The Lab in Mahaut will be going out of business soon.
    The considered dangerous foods, cigarettes and drinks, you all can increase their taxes… but the other remaining foods and drinks, lower their prices and life will be a bit balance in Dominica.

  20. truth
    August 7, 2015

    1. 10 % tax on sweet beverages will not make anyone to buy healthier foods, because with the 10% increase, the junks foods will still be cheaper. that just means that the poor people have to spend more money from their broke pockets.

  21. Joan
    August 7, 2015

    Darroux, do you remember what I told you? Get out of this political arena. It does not look good on you. You are telling lies now. That’s not you

  22. island girl
    August 7, 2015

    I don’t know raising taxes is the way to resolve the health issues
    I think that we have to make the decisions ourselves
    I see too many people at the Fast food restaurants
    and right across the street are fresh vegetables for sale. We are
    responsible for our health. e.g Diabetes, High Blood pressure
    are know as silent killers .Alcohol also contributes to many chronic diseases
    so it is important that we do take advantage of the resources we are blessed
    with fresh food vegetables clean water

    • Ma Moses
      August 10, 2015

      How do you see too many people at the fast food restaurants unless you are in there yourself?

  23. anonymous2
    August 7, 2015

    It’s just another excuse to tax, to get more money in the coffers of govt. They will end up taxing anything any everything that they can. There is already a 15% tax on food and everything else that is imported in that you buy and now that will be higher.

  24. dave
    August 7, 2015

    when r we gonna get the new hospital.?

  25. Doc. Love
    August 7, 2015

    A very popular talk show host always says, ” it is better to be considered a fool then to open your mouth and remove all doubts.” Regardless to what Skeriit puts before them fellers, they will accepts. They don’t have the bools to reject anything.

    • The Real Facts - ON
      August 10, 2015

      They are smarter than you. They obey authority. It is an obligation to obey authority.

  26. jonathan st jean
    August 7, 2015

    I suggest that the minister of health get away from his desk at least one day per month,and travel to the various communities to see first hand the needs of sick Dominicans, and hear how they can’t afford to pay for all the needed medicines and treatment. I’m sure it would bring some humility to him,it would bring him to tears and he would sound like a compassionate don of the soil. I’m just from reading an article in the Sun newspaper, and I’m heart broken. Yet the Skerritt led government seems to think that once there is bitumen on the roads for people to see,then everything is alright in Dominica. What short sighted and arrogant young men.They also believe they have power over life and death to pick and choose who gets assistance from the “red clinic”,instead of putting systems in place to care for the populace as a whole.They selectively repair feeder and other roads for those who voted for them.This is not what I expect from a democratic government.

  27. The Calabash
    August 7, 2015

    I kinda like this guy. He is smart and is connected to the situation. I appreciate the tax but the situation is grave and alarming enough to warrant more drastic actions. Like campaigning against or banning certain foods items…..such as requiring restaurants to have a balance of offerings (only 10% of meals served can be of fried foods, limiting the size of sweet drinks, etc….). Yes this undermines one’s free will but we do that in many areas like seat belts etc. We have a public health crisis!!!

    Personally, I would ban the importation of all cereals, red meats, sweet drinks/juices and French Fries.
    The ‘Irish’ Potato, in all its forms, is the most fattening food in the world.

  28. The Hand
    August 7, 2015

    A bottle of carrot juice is 8 dollars and change and I can go to the store and pick up a busta for 1.50-2.00.
    If I have 5.00, and thirsty, dont you expect me to buy a busta? cause that’s what I can afford?

    Why not…drop the price of the healthy food a bit and increase the price of unhealthy food? that way you encouraging people to eat healthy and leave the unhealthy food alone.

    Now healthy food up, unhealthy foods going up….now nothing to eat. Best you had leave us eat our unhealthy food, at least our stomach was full instead of now we have to be hungry since we cannot afford nothing.

    • The Real Facts - ON
      August 7, 2015

      I reside in Toronto and no way will I purchase carrot juice. If you feel you must drink carrot juice, why not make your own? Better yet if you have a juicer; I know it is expensive. Do not throw away the carrot pulp. You can make soup with it or use it in a casserole.
      Grate the carrot (if you have an electric grater/chopper/mincer so much better and faster). Then pour water (or warm water) over it and let it steep (soak) for a while. Then strain it. There, you have carrot juice. A little work maybe but homemade, less expensive and healthier. At least you know what is in it and what you are drinking.
      Anything, food or beverage I can make at home, I do.
      Sometime ago carrot juice was recalled for contamination.
      We have the identical problem with increased cost of food, etc. We are fortunate we can purchase fruits and vegetables on sale. The stores compete with each other. I look out for the sales and purchase what is good.

      • Titiwi
        August 10, 2015

        Facts, I note that you have finally been reduced to rambling, non sensical utterings that pass for intellectual discourse. Sadly I must remove you from my “must read” list. Even thumbing down has become a futile act.

    • The Real Facts - ON
      August 7, 2015

      You could slightly cook the carrots. If you have a steamer, you could steam them.
      You have a computer and internet. Make good use of them. Google Carrot Recipes and you will see them. You will note in how many ways they could be prepared. They could even be cooked in orange juice.
      How about making lemonade and limeade? We can do a lot with the resources we have.
      Those who have ample and suitable property to grow vegetables should do so..

      • The Hand
        August 10, 2015

        Sir, I just face palmed. I was drawing a reference using carrots.
        Secondly what you have provided is in no way related to the issue at hand.

    • The Hand
      August 8, 2015

      To the people giving my comment a thumb down, don’t just thumb it down, lemme hear your ideas/views/opinions why what I said does not make sense.

  29. Anthony P. Ismael
    August 7, 2015

    I am so utterly disappointed with Dr. Darroux. This is not the same idealistic and forward thinking man that I knew many years ago. Design a long term healthy eating campaign. Begin from the pre-school level, all the way up to college. Allow students, teachers and principals to participate in the solution. Encourage schools to give prizes to students who eat the most fruits and vegetables per week. Every classroom should plant a small vegetable garden and harvest what they grow. Assign agricultural officers to every school to help with the project. Tell them to get out of those Land Rover Jeeps and stop driving aimlessly around Roseau and going home early. Tell Drigo to lose the shirt and tie and get back to the field. We need more planting and less foolish talking.
    Dr. Darroux, the solutions are right there in Dominica. The talent and skill level is in your face everyday. This is a time for you shine, not play politics and read Skerrit’s dirty notes. Be bold and be courageous. The…

  30. Anthony P. Ismael
    August 7, 2015

    Here you are presenting some alarming statistics about the impact of non communicable diseases on the island’s population and yet still, you believe that the many thousands who sought medical assistance aboard the US Comfort was not an indictment on Dominica’s Health Care System. It appears that members of this regime who know better; travel smoothly between lies, deception and the truth in one fell swoop.
    While we’re on the topic of health care, when will work commence on the new hospital? In case you forgot, we are in the month of August, 2015. September is fast approaching and not one bag of cement has been mixed yet. A professional who trades his integrity for political favor has no legs to stand upon.

    • The Real Facts - ON
      August 7, 2015

      You could spend your lifetime accusing, bashing and judging the minister/the government but it will never make you happy. Maybe it is high time you cease and being a critic and look at the overall picture why people get sick and terminally so. This is the issue. If you are not yet sick, it will come in time as it will for each one of us.

      • Anthony P. Ismael
        August 10, 2015

        Modern technology allows us to monitor Democracy in its most basic form. It always saddens me when our best and brightest are reduced to mere puppets for this regime. This Prime Minister like those before him fails to understand that we must develop from within and solve our own problems. We know the impact that a healthy lifestyle has on overall health, so why aren’t we designing programs that meet our needs? It’s non stop empty, dirty-politics that serves to fill the pockets of a select few, while bankrupting the accounts of the many. A true patriot always wants the best for their home land.

  31. winston warrington
    August 7, 2015

    What is not being reported is that the largest concentration of cancer and mental retardation occurs in the areas of high agricultural activity. Nothing is spared; crabs, frogs, river fish, bananas, oranges, coconut trees all attest to the ravages of earth poisoning, over-fertilization and excessive pesticide applications. Only 17% of the country is arable land exhausted by overuse because of small scale peasant farming. Excessive rainfall run-off washes all the chemicals into the streams and water table. So we ingest them from our foods, meats and drinking water. Even our minds have deserted us; yet we cry” Agriculture is the cure for our moribund economy”.

    • The Real Facts - ON
      August 7, 2015

      If you have a feasible idea and suggestion, direct it to the Minister of Agriculture. Hopefully your views will be welcomed. If it is for the good of the farmers, for D/cans in general it should be welcomed and something done about it.

    • imperial prince
      August 8, 2015

      I would love to set my eyes on these stats, could you provide a link or something? Thanks.

    • Francisco Telemaque
      August 10, 2015

      Warrington, that is all due to the large amount of fertilizer, and pesticides used on the agricultural plantations for more than fifty years. I am more than fifty years old, when I was a child I used to help my grandmother spread the fertilizer.

      When it rains residue of the chemicals in the manure runs off into our water supply, and when it is drank, it does the damage. Mind your our artesian wells are all contaminated with runoff of pesticides, and fertilizer. The only way to resolve that is to clean the artesian well, which is totally impossible. An artesian well is a large body of water under the earth, which supply our water, that is why we have so many rivers in Dominica.

      If the source is poisoned it will do damage to the health of people; we need to stop using pesticides, and fertilizer. It will be more than fifty years for the problem to correct itself, but another generation will escape such fate!

  32. MR Dominica
    August 7, 2015

    According to Darroux the medical system in Dominica is in a better shape under his party and the new taxes on sugar and smoke is intended to reduce none communical deseases . this is nothing but a joke because the real reason for that tax is to raise money on one hand then hand it to the very tax payers in the form of galvanize ,plywood ,toilets ,ect then get on the radio to reminde them that labour gave you a house this is imposed poverty. Then there is the marigot hospital where in the late 1940 i was admitted for a few days as a child then in the 1960 i had to be rushed with a wood stuck in my foot ,treated by nurse Musgrave and Watty .Now we have an airport less than two miles away and patients have to be taken to the out clinic at wesley because the building was eaten by termites .When is the new one going to be built as they promised ? Some years ago a DLP suporter told me we cannot have a jet airport because we do not have a proper hospital

    • The Real Facts - ON
      August 7, 2015

      Be positive. You may not see the result immediately. However, sometime down the road, a year or more from now, you will notice it and especially in the younger ones and the next generation..This is also the aim for the future generation.

    • imperial prince
      August 8, 2015

      Well it a prudent idea if you are right to raise tax in that particular area . Still i appreciate the idea behind it, as proposed by the minister but as for the manner in which it was implemented, could have the arguement that certain other factors reduces the effectiveness. Like one person brilliantly painted it with the carrot juice.

    • Francisco Telemaque
      August 10, 2015

      Let me tell you; if people listened to what the DLP has been telling people for years, there would not be a modern building on the island! When the British through their Administrator decided to build an Airport at Melville Hall.

      The Labor Party contend, that an Airport could not be built in the country; when the idiot who was talking such nonsense was questioned, and ask to explain why; he thought that, he said: because the island was too windy, and wind-share would cause planes to crash on landing and takeoff.

      The idiots forgot that the United States and Britain was building an Airport right where Melville Hall Airport is located, it never got finished, by the time World War II was ended it was not completed, Hence the United States and the allies left it.

      You why it wasn’t completed? It was because of corruption, there were more people on the payroll than employed, secondly Dominica said they did not want Americans in Dominica because they will do a certain thing to…

  33. August 7, 2015

    We must admit that unhealthy items are much cheaper to buy than the healthy items…the gov’t must take a close look at the cost of living before taking such a decision…i do think that a large percentage of people in dominica are not having a balanced diet is much higher than long ago..other countries example the u.k did the same on unhealthy foods,cigarettes and alcohol but the society continued their normal habits ,,,the price of food is too high in dominica,salaries are not increasing often while the monthly wage is very low,there is very few jobs to find which makes life more difficult for the people living here,,start by introducing a consumers protection service and see to it that the prices are not sky rocketing as they are now..bring the price of food down because it is much to high…

    • The Real Facts - ON
      August 7, 2015

      Join your brothers and sisters worldwide. :) Be comforted. In Canada, those taxes are called sin taxes. :lol:
      I can tell you this would be difficult to achieve. Business owners will cry that they have overhead costs as also paying their staff a salary. Unfortunately, consumers do not really win as costs escalate and income remains stable.
      Do your best to economize where possible. We are all trying our utmost doing this. That is why some purchase lottery tickets, hoping they will win the jackpot. Of course, some overdo it and overspend.

  34. %
    August 7, 2015

    More of the same talk. Why couldn’t you give an account of your ministry in the house? This DLP government can now be termed Disingenuous Lying People. I am so happy that more and more people are rejecting your lies!!!!!!

  35. Sensible
    August 7, 2015

    Dr. I always admire you but you have just disappointed me trying to justify that rubbish. You are not increasing the taxes on the unhealthy foods and dropping the taxes on the healthy foods. You are from Ti Savanne you should be speaking grow what you eat and eat what you grow. Instead you are uttering and justifying the rubbish that the increase is for health reason. This has nothing to do with health because if is $2.00 I have I can only buy what $2.00 can afford.
    Bro you have always been a MAN don’t get caught in those political tricks you better than that.
    SABO talk to your Boy

  36. DOMINICA PENGUIN COURT
    August 7, 2015

    haha, I cannot believe the things these politicans say. OMG, and people listen to this rubbish and clap their hands instead of question them…

    it is a fact that people who are poor will have unhealthy life style or buy unhealthy foods, the saying ‘QUANTITY NOT QUALITY’ is what the poor will go for… example
    a quarter bag of flour is $30, you know how many bakes you can get on that, and also rice….. A HIGH STARCH DIET… so DOCTOR NOTHING WILL CHANGE.

    • vegnag
      August 7, 2015

      you forgetting the inferior cancer causing plastic that they run to buy the Chinese stores; some of the products being sold here can’t enter into Europe; its just a big mess with this administration – they have no clue what they doing

      • Me
        August 10, 2015

        And how about allowing their own authorities to burn cancer inducing waste openly in the landfill, so close to people’s residences.

    • The Real Facts - ON
      August 7, 2015

      Next election, try becoming a politician and campaign. If you are fortunate to win, you will know what it is like. You would not appreciate nationals calling you all sorts of derogatory names.
      If you have a solution, inform the minister about it. How else can change be effected if all some people do is to criticize and bash?

  37. Thorbjørn Jagland
    August 7, 2015

    Skerrit is the culprit for Chronic Non Communicable Diseases, he made life in Dominica harder, adding more stress in the workplace, dropping our quality of life and stress cause disease.

    • August 7, 2015

      Agree with you not a million percent, not forgetting all the alcoholics, never seen before on the streets of Dominica. The million of dollars skerrit gave to shop owners, bars etc to give free rum to people during the past elections, and he skerrit going door to door doing the same, skerrit, the minister of health and the rest of his cronies should be ashamed of themselves, the sad thing is that, as soon as election is over the very same shlp owners keep running the drunks away calling them all types of name because election is over and skerrit is not giving them more money to continue the drunkenness, roasting the drunks kidneys, liveds etc, mr health minister you should be ashame of yourself, as me old grandpa used to say, who have money will run to Guadeloupe, Martinique
      and those with no money will stay and die outside the PMH gate, mr health minister you need to wheel and come again with your comedian talk

    • mine
      August 7, 2015

      So you are say that the PM causes deseases God must punish you all for all tongue. Time is hard all over the world. A one bedroom apartment used to be$500 now its $1200- 1400 so don’t blame the PM for hard times.

    • Peter Potter
      August 8, 2015

      He would not dare doing that, his power does not reach that far or rather he does not want to get involved with ‘the big boys’.

  38. Unknown
    August 7, 2015

    How about taxing the fast food places

    • The Real Facts - ON
      August 7, 2015

      They should be taxed. We, in Canada are taxed on nearly everything. No exception on fast foods. Probably the next tax increase will be on fast foods. Hope no one will grumble about it.

    • Me
      August 9, 2015

      To be fair, they do, 15% vat., I checked. My street vendor with barbecue chicken, fasheen and black pudding does not. Is the latter healthier food?

  39. vegnag
    August 7, 2015

    Mister is one of the biggest disappointments for the decade – I know Dr. Darroux can do better than that but Skerrit have him like a little boy. He had a chance to challenge Skerrit and easily take over from that corrupt discarded freedomite but he stay in his corner now he is to deep in the soup to swim out of it. Actually right now he is better known as the Minister of Bitscoins than that of Minister of Health.

    • The Real Facts - ON
      August 7, 2015

      What do you want him to do better?

  40. Just Me
    August 7, 2015

    Simple solution to this nonsense – we all stop eating them tings and boom!! no taxes collected!!!

    • The Real Facts - ON
      August 7, 2015

      Simple indeed! :lol:
      Eat and drink what is non-taxable. :lol: :lol:
      I do a lot of that. It is a great way of saving and avoiding taxes. You can’t be blamed for that and it is healthy. :lol: :lol: :lol:

  41. Titiwi
    August 7, 2015

    Bravo Dr. Darroux. I guess back & neck is healthy food?

    • The Real Facts - ON
      August 7, 2015

      Raise chickens/fowls. :lol: :lol: :lol:

  42. Just Me
    August 7, 2015

    Garcon gimme a break!! You all should have made investments in agriculture so that fruits and vegetables would be cheaper for me!!!

    • Ma Moses
      August 7, 2015

      So true, tomatoes cost more in Dominica than the U.S.A and you can not always get them. As for ripe bananas, well that has become a pipe dream mr. Anselm.

    • The Real Facts - ON
      August 7, 2015

      When the going gets tough, the tough gets going. Grow your own. :lol: :lol: :lol:

  43. THAT IS Dominican
    August 7, 2015

    So when people stop consuming those thing what will you tax next, the air? Labour Power. Love it. Five more years.

    • Titiwi
      August 9, 2015

      Sex they are going to tax next, definitely garcon, including buggery, no exception! Only the P.M. can give you a waiver, provided you are an essential worker, a traveling officer, a pastor or a good friend. But a word of caution, your name has to be posted in the Gazette.
      .

    • The Real Facts - ON
      August 11, 2015

      If you live long enough.

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