April 15, 2011

OUR CARIBBEAN: Health care in Caricom

BY RICKEY SINGH | FRI, APRIL 15, 2011 - 12:00 AM

When Caribbean Community Health Ministers assemble in Guyana today for a two-day meeting, they will have the opportunity to face an issue of deepening concern to the region’s people.

It has to do with a recognised need for a region-wide common approach for non-nationals with legal status to access prescribed drugs and health care benefits – without discrimination.

This problem has been made all the more urgent for objective consideration as a result of cries against discriminatory practices being experienced by non-nationals, with Barbados referenced as a current example for its exclusion of CARICOM nationals from access to even free drugs they once received – unless they have citizenship or “permanent residence” status.

This weekend’s 21st meeting of CARICOM’s Council for Human and Social Development (COSHOD), will have a special focus on “pressing issues related to the region’s health sector development and sustainability”, according to the Community Secretariat, with the battle against chronic non-communicable diseases (NCDs) being a major topic for consideration.

Current chairman of COSHOD, Guyana’s Health Minister Dr Leslie Ramsammy, who will chair the meeting, has said it would be difficult to “mobilise much needed active cooperation of nationals of CARICOM in the fight against NCDs – which remains a major and costly headache for our Community, if we do not strive together to achieve a common policy for our nationals to access free medical benefits, wherever possible and without feeling they are being discriminated against as a consequence of either official policy or practices . . . .”

His idea would meet with the approval of St Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Dr Denzil Douglas, who has lead responsibility in CARICOM for health and human resources development Douglas wants to see the Community “prioritise an enlightened common approach in the provision of health care for all nationals of our Community . . . .”

Read full article here.


kittitianhill said...
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kittitianhill said...

st kitts citizenship is an English speaking independent state that is situated in the northern parts of the Caribbean. There are two islands in this Federation, namely St Kitts and Nevis.