The views expressed herein are solely those of the writer.
By Watchful eye
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.