Mr. Minnis: National Health Insurance, If Not Now When?

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Hubert Minnis

By Jerry Roker for Bahamas Press

Immediately after PM Christie announced that it was his government’s intent to introduce National Health Insurance by January 2016, the opposition FNM stated their opposition to this ambitious and noble initiative. It was like deja vu: not now. Ft. Charlotte also climbed aboard that ‘not now’ train.  I believe Opposition Leader Minnis lost a golden opportunity to step outside of the partisan political box and take one for the poor amongst us. I have met no one, absolutely no one who does not recognize the urgent importance of affordable universal health care for every Bahamian. Something must be morally wrong with our people dying simply because they do not have health insurance. Citizens having to resort to holding cookouts to ensure loved ones get some level of health care, is not only demeaning, but it also speaks to the kind of country we have become after nearly 42 years of independence. Those who can afford it lives and those who cannot(usually black folks) die.

On this issue, like none before it, there is no room for political mischief and one-upmanship. Those opposed to the Christie government must extricate this national health issue from partisan warfare in the interest of the people of The Bahamas.

I believe all hands must be on deck to attend to the issue of financing health care in The Bahamas.The crux of the problem of delivering health care services to the citizens of our country is financial. Unquestionably, many of our citizens simply cannot afford medical care. For that reason it is vital that we find a formula that will lead to the financing of health care services. No Opposition [faction] should ignore opportunities to work in the interest of the general population.