Barbados Healthcare And FREENESS

Kammie Holder, LUTCF, FSS

While in Ghana a couple months ago I cannot remember seeing obese persons, what I did see was plenty of markets selling vegetables and no brand name fast food restaurants. In Barbados our lifestyle coupled with our progress have led us to the enviable position of amputation capital of the world and a country in the Caribbean with a high population of obese persons. Thus it may surprise you we spend $53 million in drugs; $36 million is spent with private pharmacies of which $12 million is dispensing fees. My research has uncovered that the ratio of generic to branded drugs on the formulary has being about 70:30 for the last 10 years.

As a person intimately involved in the sale of medical insurance every effort must be encouraged to forcible engage doctors and pharmacist to eliminate wastage when prescribing and dispensing without compromising care. I dare say a more holistic approach must be taken by doctors rather than offer drugs for every ailments rather than suggesting exercise and the changing of eating habits.

Some, will be offended to know that over $250 million is spent to treat Non Communicable Diseases and other related illnesses, there is also the indirect cost, loss productivity, disruption to family cohesion. Every citizen has a choice to exercise, reduce sodium and eat healthier. Persons with cars are very selective in what brand of gasoline they put in their cars yet anything is placed in our mouths.

Within recent days Barbados has being taking verbal beatings from its neighbors. This beating surrounds the enforcement of a regulation which allows only permanent residents and citizens to benefit from free drugs while emergency as well treatment for communicable diseases will be free to all. The country is unjustifiable vilified by those without any long term vision and not a modicum of good governance. How many countries offer free bus fare, free school books, free education, free lunch, free health care and a uniform grant. I say to our neighbors your jealousy is showing as a man truly reveals his feelings when angry. Here is a post from the Starbroek news, “Nature is lifting the veil and the whole Caribbean is now getting a true glimpse of their pompousness and arrogance. They are now being exposed for who they truly are.

We have elected Barbadian politicians to govern our affairs and act in the best interest to maintain our progress.Our greatest resource is our people who are guided by our motto Pride & Industry. Finally, the government must move post haste to make premiums paid on a Health Plan tax deductible.

0 thoughts on “Barbados Healthcare And FREENESS

  1. This is a topic that calls for discussion which may be merciless to the many sacred cows involved in the promotion and maintenance of dangerous health habits. There is a lot known about changing the eating habits of persons over age five….it is tough Overeating has been called the new crack-cocaine. The healthcare profession and its associated industries concentrate on profiteering from alleged treatment of tertiary illnesses. The mass of the population continues misinformed nutritional (eating too much) and social practices (smoking/alcohol/sleep deprivation/sedentary lives, etc). Prevention is still better than cure. This is one action that should not depend on the pyramid’s peak. Those are the ones who make money from illness. Change of habits is a process that is better initiated at the base.

  2. “How many countries offer free bus fare, free school books, free education, free lunch, free health care and a uniform grant.”

    And it is killing us softly. How long can we continue like this? Kammie I don’t think this is not the type of bragging we should be doing. We have our priorities wrong. I agree we value material things more than we value our bodies. A preventative approach to health care has not taken much root with the general population. Is it because we were getting too many free services?

    Many South American countries have introduced a natural sweetener in their drinks called stevia. It is non caloric and derived from the stevia plant. The amount of sugar used in the drink manufacturing process is extremely high and with the island’s population prone to Diabetes couldn’t this be the sugar to use instead of cane sugar? We can grow this plant here and it is many times sweeter than cane sugar. We can then use the cane for ethanol production and Rum manufacturing.

  3. Quoting Kammie:

    “offer free bus fare, free school books, free education, free lunch, free health care and a uniform grant. ”

    But Kammie. None of the above is free it is all PAID for by our TAX DOLLARS. This is not the 1950’s man, we must not let politicians fool us that they are providing us with freeness. The TAXES WE PAY FOR ALL this FREENESS giving us goadies man.

    And tt bothers me that my elder sister (or brother) who migrated from Barbados in 1955 at age 19, and has NEVER paid a single CENT of taxes in Barbados could show up tomorrow (not that she plans to) and have full access to our health care system, whereas some people who have lived in Barbados as long as my sister has lived abroad, and who have paid taxes in Barbados for 40 years or more are being denied access to health care. I feel that if we tek the people tax money to buy medicine then they are ENTITLED to get some of that same medicine.

    User pays. Payers use.

    Perhaps the Barbados could take a look at what the Canadians do. They understand that health care is not free. In fact they understand that is is damn EXPENSIVE. When a new immigrant show up thay are encouraged to apply for paid health coverage with provincial health care system, they pay a health insurance premium to the provincial government, the provincial government tracks the contributions, issues a card to the immigrant and after a brief wait period the immigrant are allowed full access to the system. Since many employers offer health insurance coverage, the new immigrant (and his family)will likely be covered by his employers plan once he starts work. If he is self employed he continues to pay his own premiums.

    We must try this system. It is no more difficult to manage that the system of issuing and managing driver’s licences. In this system everybody including recent immigrants pays in and everybody can take out. The government pays for those people who are on welfare and unable to pay their own premiums.

    In fact the system works much like NIS. We pay in every week or month when we are young and healthy and working and take out when we become sick.

  4. The US model is there for all to see. Why do we believe, our rich educational environment notwithstanding, that we can eat fast food, don’t exercise and the outcome is good?

    Why do we have to work so hard to grow our GDP to quickly fritter it away by placing band-aids over the health problems which result?

    As a side issue we heard recently that our HIV rate is on the up. It shows that our people are hell bent on maintaining relativistic behaviours.

  5. The mention of the freeness Bajans enjoy was not a brag, but a cursory mention for those on the outside who may be misinformed about the current burdensome social services the government provides. How much longer can any government continue these services? Medical care for bajans and permanent residence was a rule that was never enforced. How many apply for visas and medical insurance is a requirement?

  6. When I read a piece of witing, I must first come to terms with the “thought” behind the article. I have problems being lectured to by one is profitting from the health insurance industry in Barbados. An insurance system whose only response to any attempts to recover fees to cover many of these abusers of the healthcare system is to threaten to raise their premiums. The reason as usual in Barbados is that profits have to be maintained. Cammie Holder and his crowd must continue to build big fancy buildings and drive the most expensive cars while the rest of us smell unhealthy shit.

  7. @Lemuel Areti, ah like de name. Can you tell sincerity or even call a spade a spade. My observations have nothing to do wid my profession neither do I drive a car. How do you propose claims be paid other than the collective premiums collected? This month I spent three weeks collecting claims and realised some serious abuse for via repeat claims for NCD from some persons.

  8. I note that Kammie would like to see insurance premiums paid as a deductible for income tax purposes which naturally would benefit the insurance industry as more people would be tempted to buy insurance policies, and insurance use the deductible as a marketing strategy to obtain new business. What he did not say that such an approach would consequently reduced revenue for government as claimants would get back more income tax, for example, if i spent $1000 in premiums yearly my income tax refund would be $350 more for the year of purchase and subsequents years. I hope you get the drift Mr. Holder.

    Mr. Holder, the insurance industry needs to make serious contributions to Barbados’ development. I am yet to see the industry making large donations to the health care or educational sector. Has the industry established any endownments.

    I will further state that some of Barbados’ businesses do not contribute meaninfully to its development. Lets use the Barbados Light & Power Co., a monopoly what does it give back to society. I can only recall it sponsoring the lighting programme. The Financial sector; the banking sector makes millions and export the profits. That sector needs to be scrutinised by the Barbadain consumers and be pressured to contributing towards the health care and education sectors.

    The Insurance industry needs to revisit it selective policy of not insuring people who are obsese or insisting on persons who want to procure insurance over a specified amount undertake an HIV test. The acturarial calculation should take care of those categoreis. How many people have been denied insurance coverage because they have been considered obsese or diagnosed with HIV?

    Insurance should not be about selected risk, it is about acturararial prediction, for example, out of a population of lets assume 1000, x% might experience ceratain illnesses and the cost should be computed accordingly.

    Mr. Holder, shouldn’t the insurance industry set a side a sum to take care of persons who have been injured in hit-and-run accidents. Some years ago while studying pension and insurance administration I came across this feature in the Brithsh system. Let me know if I misunderstood what I read.

    I have had medical insurance for over twenty five years and it is only within the last two years that I have started to use it, and the deductibles are so great that sometimes one wonders why one continues to pay such high prmiums when healthcare is free to all barbadians, but one never knows so it is better to “err” on the side of caution.

    I gone

  9. I read the article containing the Minister of health’s statement and I am left to wonder what is more important; the taxpaying contributor or the holder of Barbados citizenship who refuses to contribute their fair share to the Government’s tax revenue?

    It is disingenuous to claim that those affected by this new policy have an immigration issue and not a health ministry issue, since it is the Ministry of Health who has tied this benefit to citizenship at the expense of hundreds who legally reside and work in Barbados and pay significant taxes on their incomes. The Minister has taken the easy way out to clean up the abuse but seems unsympathetic to the “collateral damage” which the policy will inflict.

    First driver’s licenses are restricted to Barbados citizens, now this. There are (were) issues which needed to be corrected but the Government must be careful that the policies which it implements to punish a law-breaking minority does not in turn make life in Barbados more cumbersome for those non-nationals who live here here based on Government’s thrust to attract offshore business, regional/international business headquarters, qualified Caricom nationals and foreign direct investment.

    Right now the message being sent is…
    “…Come to Barbados, pay your annual immigration fees, your NIS and income taxes for a decade but do not expect to get a change in your immigration status or any benefits, including getting medicine for your Bajan born children or the convenience of a local driver’s license. These are privileges for citizens and your taxes are just to help us make up the shortfall from the army of “self employed” workers who don’t pay taxes, so that all Barbadian citizens, without discrimination, can enjoy free education, bus fares, summer camps and the drug service…!

  10. The Minister is wrong plain and simple.

    It is foolishness plain and simpe that those foreigners who pay taxes here cannot acess health benefits, but that any stray Bajan who migrated half a century ago and has never paid a cent of taxes here can show up and access health benefits.

    At the next electon we shall punish both the Minister and the DLP for this.

  11. @The plumber

    Is that really true about drivers licenses? What are they thinking? We are definitely regressing.

    @RT …..the minister stated he doesn’t care if he loses votes for his health care reform. I believe he thinks he is Obama LOL. Seriously what has been done seems to be prejudicial and will harm International business. We cannot afford to isolate the legal residents who pay taxes and contribute to the country. Things seem have gone a bit awry in this administration. These legal residents have the right to vote as well.

    • Why must we always see everything with a political lense?

      Having a Barbados ID card or paying taxes does not mean entitlement to health or other national benefits.

      It is also known that a Barbados ID card is the easiest thing to forge.

      Finally if a person living in Barbados for 20 years does not have their papers they need to regularize their status.

      Barbados is not a banana republic. Citizens have obligations as responsible members of an orderly society.

      These are our tax dollars which must be protected. Especially in hard times!

    • @islandgal

      That is not BU’s understanding. The complaints seems to be associated with those who have been too lazy to regularize their status.

  12. We might soon hear that only citizens can collect NIS pensions even though legal residents have contributed.

  13. @David

    As far as I understand that if a person not born here and have been living here for most of their life, does not have any papers stating that they have permanent residence or immigrant status must regularize their status. What I am speaking about is that legal residents who have been granted residence or immigrant status are being refused services.

  14. So David even if they have been “too lazy” to regularize their status, but they pay NIS and income taxes regularly how can we reasonably refuse services. And my stance is based on reason not on politics.

    But if a Minister and or party is doing the unreasonably things why should I vote for them?

  15. if you want to be a part of a school you have to wear the uniform, if you want to reap the benefits of Barbados, go and regularize your status and stop this free sponging

  16. Dear David at 8:40 Sunday night I asked you “But if a Minister and or party is doing the unreasonably things why should I vote for them?”

    and you haven’t answer me yet.

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