The woman, who became paralysed when, as a student in October 2010, she was shot in the neck, has been sent to Cuba for medical attention.
Twenty-year-old Sweet-I Robertson was shot in the neck in October 2010 during an altercation between some young men.
The injuries that the Chateaubelair resident sustained have left her paralysed from the neck down, with only limited use of one arm.
Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves said on Saturday that Robertson, along with two other persons whom he did not name, were sent to Cuba. “… we spend a lot of money like that too,” Gonsalves said at a ceremony for the opening of the Georgetown Smart Hospital.
“And the bill ends up at the Office of the Prime Minister and we have to contribute.
“I tell you, the amount of money we spend for people to do medical procedures overseas, particularly tertiary medial procedures.
“Those that can do here, we don’t pay for anybody to go overseas, because the government can’t be providing the services here — good services for primary, secondary and some tertiary facilities and you want to go overseas,” he said.
In March, as the Fourth Regional Workshop on Negotiations for the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty opened, Gonsalves used Robertson’s case to highlight the impact of years of unregulated trade in weapons.
“With that single bullet, this young lady went from being a star athlete at her school to a wheelchair-bound symbol of the creeping scourge of arms and ammunition into the most remote corners of our Caribbean civilization,” Gonsalves said.
Separately, Gonsalves told Parliament this year that his Government, last year, spent EC$335,826.08 (EC$1=US$0.37) on the medical bills of a young man involved in an accident in which the driver and the vehicle were uninsured.