PM Skerrit appeals for regional health scheme

OECS Heads now meeting in Dominica
OECS Heads now meeting in Dominica

A fresh appeal has been made to heads of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) for the implementation of a regional health scheme as the region faces a rise in Chronic Non Communicable Diseases (CNCDs).

Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit made the call at the 62nd OECS Authority Meeting which is currently underway in Dominica.

He said when persons are affected by CNCDs, in many cases, their personal financial reserves and the country suffer, but if this regional approach is realized, beneficiaries would be better served.

“I also want to bring back a point which I raised a couple years ago to the OECS Authority and that has to do with the regional health insurance scheme,” he said. “Our countries, and in my view one of the major challenges to our economy, is the high prevalence of CNCDs, Diabetes, Hypertension, and the illnesses associated with Diabetes is a major threat to our economies.”

The Prime Minister pointed out an example of a 40-year-old who suffers from diabetes, who has children and who had both legs amputated. He reasoned that someone in the middle class can be reduced to poverty and the state would have an additional burden to carry if such a scheme was not explored.

“So it is important for us to look at the issue of health insurance as a region,” he argued. “For a population of 600,000 people it is an ideal constituency for that kind of consideration. Because too many citizens are finding it difficult to finance health care. We have seen people with vast bank accounts have reduced to zero or even to loans to finance their health care”.

Skerrit also pointed to those who do not have insurance nor the funds to finance their health care.

“And I daresay, and I believe that, that constituency group is in the majority and therefore we have to find a way of bridging that gap with regards to our health and our health care financing. So I am hoping that we can advance the discussions with regards to a regional health insurance program,” he said.

He added, “We in Dominica looking at our own but I believe it would serve those beneficiaries much better if we have a larger pool of persons to look at.”

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  1. REAL!!!!
    November 19, 2015

    This PM don’t even understand what is HealthCare….. He is trying to attack chronic conditions from the top but not the root of the health problem.

    This is blind leadership that has lead us for 15 years.

    Leadership is everything Mr. Skerrit but BLIND leadership is death.

  2. November 19, 2015

    Skerrit do the honorable thing and resign

  3. November 19, 2015

    this idea of a health insurance scheme is nothing new. during the uwp ‘s administration, they propose the plan for a national health insurance scheme. no matter how much advice the opposition gives to this incompetent govt they will not be able to do anything because they lack the ability and capabilities.

  4. jonathan st jean
    November 19, 2015

    Why doesn’t Skerritt and his government fix the health care services on the island.Just like motor vehicle insurance,if you have a lot of accidents your rates go up,so the Dominican public will have rates because of numerous claims against the health insurance company.Soon It will go broke or for it to service will have to charge Dominicans high rates.Therefore fixing try he health care system ( not just building a new hospital) is paramount at this time.
    I’m sure Skerritt raised this issue to take away the focus on lack of air access for Dominica,so he won’t look like a dummy.Nice try Mr Skerritt, but wrong timing.

    November 19, 2015

    talk talk talk parlais parlais parlais… skerrit why you continue to dock

  6. looking
    November 19, 2015

    I was of the impression that many islands have already made strides in implementing such a scheme. I do know of one for sure. Dominica is way behind. Social Security should be struck off the books period. It’s highway robbery. Each employee or self employed person should be allowed to choose their insurance scheme of choice, including health and life insurance. This would result in a better bargain for the people. Social Security is old and outdated.

    • Concerned
      November 19, 2015

      I totally agree.

  7. Correction
    November 19, 2015

    We still think that Health Care starts when one gets sick. An ounce of prevention is better than a ton of cure Mr Prime Minister. Diabetes and most illnesses in Dominica are lifestyle or genetic related can be alleviated if not prevented with early detection, lifestyle changes and medication.

    If you really care about the people, you would initiate programs to education about and reduce alcohol and tobacco consumption.

    You would reduce the importation and use of unhealthy foods and hazardous products.

    There will be cases where people will still not take care of themselves by not making healthy choices like not exercising, and excessively consuming alcohol and tobacco, but nobody can blame you if you initiate prevention programs like a true Leader.

  8. GrandBayrian
    November 19, 2015

    Regional health scheme? or corrupt scheme? which one is it? The Dominican Government can’t provide the basic supplies for the PMH to operate, and you talking about Health Scheme? why do we always lead from behind in Dominica?

  9. Doc. Love
    November 19, 2015

    The picture shows Hon Francine Baron standing between two Prime Ministers, they are Mr. Skeritt and Mr. Brown. I wonder why Skerittt chose Francine instead of Hon. McIntyre or Hon. Blackmore or Hon Charles, at least, they are all parliamentarians and have acted as head of state. She was not put in Government by the people, but Skeritt in his usual dictatorial or rather arrogant style, puts her to stand with the Heads of Government. The picture is misleading. I am requesting that DNO immediately remove that picture, the rest of the Caribbean is watching. :mrgreen:

    • UserName
      November 19, 2015

      DNO could have done a better job by including captions to the picture. But you have it totally wrong or you are trying to be misleading. First of all Hon. Francine Baron is not standing BETWEEN the two PMs. She is actually in the back row and they in the middle row, a case of geometric perception. Secondly as Min. of Foreign Affairs and CARICOM Affairs protocol would dictate that she is the correct choice of delegate. Why would the GEN.SEC of CARICOM also be in the picture if not for the fact that the OECS is a sub region of CARICOM.

  10. silversliver
    November 19, 2015

    Is this guy for real? Can he point to one regional body that is functioning efficiently?? This guy is trying to sound progressive and creative by feeling the need to make some sort of what he considers to be a “BOLD” new idea. These are just vapid expressions, and a poor attempt at using smoke and mirrors to feel good about himself. This does not reflect a genuine effort to address the issues of Dominica!

  11. November 19, 2015

    Our Prime Minister is indeed a loving and compassionate man. His addressing the Health Insurance and the affordability of Health Care in Dominica and the rest of the OECS region is both timely and necessary. It is exactly this compassionate attitude that endears so many thousands of admirers and supporters to this great Supreme Leader. There are so many individuals who get deeply emotional when Labourites refer to our beloved Prime Minister as the Supreme Leader, ordained Knight of the Most Holy Roman Catholic Church, His Eminence, Dominica’s divine Emperor and Political Saviour. Yet, on a daily basis we see the Supreme Leader speaking strongly on behalf of ALL Dominicans which, of course, includes the same few dissidents whom, through hatred and jealousy, refuse to realize and acknowledge the Christ-like nature of this precious Prime Minister. A Prime Minister who continues to work tirelessly to better and enhance their very lives. Let’s hope that other leaders take heed.

    • Floridian diaspora
      November 19, 2015

      Let me help you to REPHRASE that properly. What you really mean to say is YOUR Prime Minister is a man who shows no love and compassion for anybody but himself. His addressing the Health Insurance and the unaffordability of Health Care in Dominica and the rest of the OECS region is both untimely and unnecessary because he is guilty of the bad state and slow response times at the Princess Margaret Hospital, while he and his herd of sheep runs overseas to receive treatment. It is exactly this uncompassionate attitude that does not endear to anyone, but instead needs to be ejected from the high flying fighter jet he think he seating in. Only a few brainwashed people like you refer to him using words like supreme Leader, ordained Knight, and political savior. On a daily basis we see the JACKASS speak only on the behalf of his cabinet of sheep that is led by a shepherd who is Satan like, evil, no love for country, and is seeking to lead Dominica into communism and dictatorship.

    November 19, 2015

    Few governments can match Dominica’s “revolutionary” government when it comes to perceived venality, corruption, abuse of power and sheer incompetence. If in 15 years a leader can’t adequately address the issue of health, then he/she should not be given another opportunity to lead. “Enuff is Enuff!!

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