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ECCU government have agreed to effective use of debt management tools in their countries.
ECCU government have agreed to effective use of debt management tools in their countries.
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The opposition New Democratic Party (NDP) says it rejects Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves’ proposal that the state pay for “reasonable” medical expenses for Members of Parliament.

The party said on Sunday that it will release a statement detailing its position on the proposal, which Gonsalves, who is also Minister of Finance, announced in Parliament last week.

“I want to give this House the assurance that any member of this Honourable House, present or past, who has any problems with their health and have to seek medical attention and do not have any private insurance and incur expenses, that, as Minister of Finance, I will authorise a reimbursement for all reasonable expenses for health,” Gonsalves said.

He was speaking moments after MP for Central Kingstown St. Clair Leacock, an opposition lawmaker, told parliament he has received treatment in Barbados and is recovered from eye problem.

Leacock told Parliament that he used his December salary to pay for retinal surgery.

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Speaking shortly after Leacock, Gonsalves noted that Parliamentarians do not have medical insurance, even as many firms in Kingstown provide such insurance for their employees.

He said medical insurance for Parliamentarians was discussed under both the Unity labour Party and NDP administrations, but the talks “got nowhere”.

Gonsalves said he has “very quietly, with no publicity whatsoever” paid medical bills of some past MPs and their families.

“Why can’t we, the state and the parliamentarians here, have a private insurance system?” he said.

He said this has not been done because some MPs are afraid that citizens will accuse them of looking out for themselves specially.

“Well, some people will say that, but I am satisfied that the vast majority of people will say that it is a useful thing to do for us to have a contributory health insurance system,” Gonsalves said.

3 replies on “Opposition rejects PM’s medical bills proposal”

  1. John A Simpleman says:

    Interesting. Do public servants get reasonable health cost coverage? What about the people who work for minimum wages, whose salaries cannot allow them to get insurance? Is there a health package offered by the N.I.S for them or for anyone? How much money does a parliamentarian work for? Is it more that the average guy? Couldn’t the honorable MP do the surgery here in SVG? If no, why not? Would it be better for the government to beef up our health care industry considerably rather than to pay for healthcare coverage for the few, who if I might add can afford it? Do we need Obama to introduce Obamacare in our small nation?

  2. I am not impressed by the reactive proposal offered by the current PM of SVG. But I am not surprised that there is a lack of compassion for the health on the nation. Reactive politicking will get the country no where fast. We should have been miles ahead with the establishment of a universal health care system. Instead the politics of exclusivity now threatens health services even further.

    1. Why can,t the gov,t introduce a bill that every EMPLOYRE must contribute to a medical system to help the working class and let the working man and woman contribute according to their salary.
      I totally disagree that MP should get free or part medical from the poorer class. They should have their own medical that they pay into. It should be taken from their own salary

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