SVG: The one health care question no one is asking

The views expressed herein are solely those of the writer.

By Watchful eye

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Opinion: When one listens to the narratives surrounding healthcare in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, there are mainly two conclusions.

The first is that nothing is being done in healthcare, the hospital is run down and there is no medication.

The second conclusion is that health care has never been better, polyclinics have been built and repairs are done to the hospital and other health centers, medication can be accessed for $5 EC dollars for persons between 17 and 65 years and free for all others, and dialysis and other expensive services have been subsidized.

The one question that is often averted by both sides, however, is the sustainability of the cost to provide public health care.

In the 2019 budget, it was revealed that the Milton Cato Memorial hospital only makes back about 8-percent of what is spent on it.

For the preceding years, the numbers are believed to be more dismal.

This indicates that there is a massively subsidized health care system.

Should people pay for some public health care services based on their income bracket?

Should everyone be granted the privilege of paying EC $5 to get all available medication, no matter the cost of such medication?

Should regular beds be EC $10 per night?

Should dialysis treatment be subsidized to EC $100 per session when in other countries it is as high as EC $1,000 or $500 per session or more?

What about the programs for disadvantaged mothers?

Home help for the elderly and the like? Too much?

At the end of the day, we have to fund all of these things some way, somehow.

How long can we keep up?

This piece was partially edited by One News SVG with permission from the writer.

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1 comment

  1. My mom ( may her soul rip) was on dialysis due to renal failure. Unfortunately, by the time us children started working and mom can now afford medical insurance she had developed a chronic disease and was denied medical insurance. We were then at the mercy of the state since none of us was working for sufficient money to afford 500k loans and migration to access better health care took time.
    In accessing dialysis one also has to do regular blood works to check creatine levels , bacterial load etc. My issue is the quality of the program. The MCMH labs kept returning ‘ normal/ within normal limits bacterial loads when my mom was in sepsis. She was displaying all the classic signs ( reduce urunation, fatigue, loss of appetite etc.) and confirmed by her doctor. Labs were saying something else. Her death certificate say septicaemia. Also every time she was hospitalized the nurses would use her calcium tablets, renal vitamins and phosphorus binders to gave to other renal patients. While one must share, we periodically imported her medications because they were not available in SVG. While she was hospitalized we took breakfast , lunch and dinner for her ( the hospital renal diet is a joke- bread and sausage for breakfast and dinner and mostly rice based for lunch. I guess they forgot that most renal patients are diabetic/ hypentives and these diet are totally ill suited). By the way, we were still billed for all the meals she did not eat. We paid it, didn’t worth the effort to delay my mom’s service . Dialysis is a programme Not solely accessing a machine! And the program leaves a lot to be desired her in SVG. Recognize the deficiencies , only then can we improve!


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