PM Douglas highlights his government’s National Health Scheme

Basseterre, St. Kitts (CUOPM) — St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas is giving full support to his government’s policy of preventing illness, attaining and maintaining a state of wellness, which he said is of utmost importance to his governing St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party and the people.

“The health care centers that we have constructed throughout our Federation, the training that we have provided for our healthcare practitioners, our investment in a range of advanced equipment that was designed to enhance our hospital staff in making accurate diagnoses and prescribing appropriate courses of action, all speak to our understanding of the interplay between a healthy population and a productive society,” Prime Minister Douglas said during the recent “Conversation for Progress” Series at the St. Johnston Community Center.

Pointing out that the society is small and intimate, Prime Minister Douglas spoke of the importance of providing the type of medical care, and create the psychological ease when there is pain or illness.

“Minister of Health, Community and Social Development, the Hon. Liburd has spoken about the comprehensive health insurance programme that our Government has already begun putting in place. It’s a programme that provides psychiatric, surgical, vision, obstetrical, dental, specialized overseas care, and every form of health care that we do know about really,” Prime Minister Douglas said, noting that the nation-wide programme is being implemented in phases.

“It covers those Kittitians and Nevisians whose work benefits the country as a whole – our police officers, our nurses, our firemen, our customs and immigration officers, sanitation workers, air traffic controllers, and other government employees. The group whose coverage is now being worked on now is comprised of those individuals in our community who are currently on public assistance. And we shall continue incorporating various groups within our society until the entire Federation is covered,” Dr. Douglas said.

Giving the rational for the National Health Scheme, the St. Kitts and Nevis leader said:

“Firstly we want the men, women, and children of this country to be able to see a doctor when they are ill and even more importantly, we want the men, women, and children to get in the habit of having annual checkups, even when they feel perfectly healthy. In addition to this, however, we know that in countries all over the world, major illnesses have caused families to lose their savings, lose their homes, forced into selling whatever possessions they may have. And so we here in St. Kitts and Nevis are determined to shield the people of St. Kitts and Nevis from this particular fate. We all saw what a ruckus the provision of broad-based health care created in a nation and powerful and as large as the United States of America. We, however, believe and we know that universal health insurance has to be a reality here, and that is why it has been embraced by my Government, and why, on a phased basis, it is already being implemented nationwide.”

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