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No fee change

It has been deemed “discriminatory” against the rest of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).

However, the state-run Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) said today it would be sticking to its current health policy, at least for the time being, while it awaits legal advice on claims by one regional researcher that it could wind up with another “Shanique Myrie situation” on its hands.

Delivering a lecture here last week, Kai-Ann D. Skeete, a research fellow at the University of the West Indies Cave Hill, warned that the Barbados Government’s policy of charging CARICOM citizens higher fees than its own nationals for accessing medical care at the QEH was in contravention of Article 7 of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas, which governs CARICOM.

And highlighting the recent Myrie case in which the Jamaican national successfully sued the Freundel Stuart administration for breaching her right as a CARICOM national to freely enter the country, Skeete warned that the current health care “discrimination” on the basis of nationality could yield a similar response.

However, in response the hospital’s Chief Executive Officer told Barbados TODAY: “The regulations that govern our operations are what I am working with right now . . . outside of that, I can’t say too much more. I am still getting advice on it [fee discrimination]”.

Concern about the high cost of health care for CARICOM nationals comes at a time when Government is said to be going after more medical business from the 15-nation grouping.

Skeete has taken note of a schedule in the QEH Act which sets out that CARICOM nationals must pay higher fees than Barbadians, while cautioning that “there are other agreements that Barbados is signed on to with other third countries which allow them to have more access to health services than CARICOM nationals”.

6 Responses to No fee change

  1. Sue Donym February 12, 2016 at 8:36 am

    Well then let’s have our day in court over this.
    Is it the case that the rest of CARICOM contributes to the operation of the QEH? Bajans pay taxes which support the operation and should be given preferential treatment in the cost of services. This is not a policy decided on some random reason.

    As it stands some Barbadians are rescheduled or made to wait much longer because of the administration’s lean towards paying patients. It is unlikely that Bajans would be happy about hearing that the reason they cannot access service is because the hospital is filled with non-nationals

    • Olutoye Walrond February 12, 2016 at 10:45 am

      Perhaps you need to bear in mind that the Caricom nationals aren’t warriving in Barbados and walking into the hospital. They live here and, like you, pay taxes. Why should they be made to pay more?

      We need to start treating our Caribbean neighbours with more love and respect.

      • Sue Donym February 12, 2016 at 10:57 am

        When they referred to ‘the rest of CARICOM’ I took that to mean the wider CARICOM and since it was compared to the Myrie matter I felt that it was not referring to residents (who as you say would be contributing) but to CARICOM nationals visiting and/or specifically seeking health care.

  2. KEVIN February 12, 2016 at 11:09 am

    If Owen was still in power people wont be coming around this country with a lot of crap. They smell WEAKNESS!

  3. Alex Alleyne February 12, 2016 at 11:26 am

    Who is CARICOM ?/ What is CARRICOM ? .Remember some on the Jamaica Cricket board , deemed Joel Garner as “a foreigner” when voting for the President of the WICB.
    If “all uh we is one” (CARICOM) then I do not see the need for a TWO-TIER pay system.
    Its all GREEEEEED.

  4. jrsmith February 12, 2016 at 1:14 pm

    Our rubbish government is so effin weak, what else would you expect, it seems as though this CCJ lark is only to take cases against Barbados, as for the Caricom stupidness, what is this all about. see the issue ,referring Barbados failures against the Marie situation , we should have been still govern by Westminster.. our bunch of Muppets as politicians, every and anybody is going to pee all over us..


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