High sick leave claims too costly, cautions Labour Minister


The National Insurance Scheme (NIS) paid out $24 million in sick leave claims at the end of 2016 and Minister of Labour Dr Esther Byer-Suckoo has embarked on a mission to remedy the problem.

Speaking at a church service marking the 50th anniversary of the National Insurance Department at the St Michael’s Cathedral yesterday, Byer-Suckoo said she has already begun to petition the island’s medical practitioners to think twice before prescribing sick leave.

“We have begun discussions with the members of the medical fraternity, with the Barbados Association of Medical Practitioners to sensitize the medical profession to the impact of prescribing sick leave when other options could be just as effective,” the Minister of Labour said.

She lamented that the large volume of sick leave claims had also created a backlog of “unacceptable delays in processing”, but assured that the NIS would ensure Barbadians received their benefits.

Some 54, 000 people benefited from last year’s sick leave payouts and Byer-Suckoo urged Barbadians to adopt healthier lifestyles to fight off the epidemic of non-communicable diseases, which she suggested, was a major contributor to the number of sickness and disability claims being processed by the National Insurance Department.

“The prevalence of non-communicable diseases continues to be a concern for all of us including us at the National Insurance Department. We have to continue on the path of prevention and it is our individual responsibility to lead healthier lives,” warned Byer Suckoo, who is also a medical doctor.



149 Responses to High sick leave claims too costly, cautions Labour Minister

  1. Jan Hold
    Jan Hold June 5, 2017 at 4:52 pm

    Do they not pay NIS

  2. Claire Battershield
    Claire Battershield June 5, 2017 at 4:55 pm

    So how do determine sick ? Sick can be physical ,mental or just sick of .

  3. Tamesha Padmore
    Tamesha Padmore June 5, 2017 at 4:56 pm

    Mercedes Benz are costly to

  4. Tamesha Padmore
    Tamesha Padmore June 5, 2017 at 4:58 pm

    Dat is ppl money they wrk an put dey I dont understand she at all

  5. Sunil Brome
    Sunil Brome June 5, 2017 at 4:58 pm

    Of course when the government cant find the money to pay it would be a problem. These same people are claiming within the guidlines set out by the NIS not so? While i can agree people abuse the system, the reality is the scheme is now over burdened and is looking at ways to reduce paying out.

    • hcalndre June 6, 2017 at 6:27 am

      Tarrah Innis, is this person a real doctor? what is the alternative when or if someone is sick? Would the work place and the doctor take the responsibility in a law suit should the person drop dead or cause serious injuries on the job depending on the case. She said the benefits paid out were $24m., is that for the year 2016? A million is ten hundred thousand however you twist it or that figure is from the time they stared paying sick leave.

  6. Tamina Darkies
    Tamina Darkies June 5, 2017 at 5:00 pm

    Dis woman ya.So u expect people to let u & d others spend their money wen ya sick it takes forever to get ya money & it is THEIR money so wat

  7. Eileene Jordan
    Eileene Jordan June 5, 2017 at 5:01 pm

    Sarah Palin shut the hell up wanna making de people of Barbados sick and de doctors can’t even find diagnose for it.

  8. Steve Jemmott
    Steve Jemmott June 5, 2017 at 5:01 pm

    ……these schemes are calculated much like a casinos- designed not to pay out much. You guys need to get the maths correct….call in the actuaries!!!!

  9. George Smith
    George Smith June 5, 2017 at 5:05 pm


  10. Gavin Dawson
    Gavin Dawson June 5, 2017 at 5:06 pm

    The way this DLP Gov’t treat the people of Barbados surprised Barbados is still working, they the Gov’t are making the working class sick with all the Taxes they have to endure.And now they are complaining.

    • Anthony Williams
      Anthony Williams June 5, 2017 at 5:31 pm

      I wish Bajan would stopped complaining about paying taxes ask any one who owns a house in Long island or or up state N Y about paying taxes.

      • hcalndre June 6, 2017 at 6:40 am

        @Anthony Williams you want bajans to know you living on L I or where ever, its no comparison, you pay your taxes and have the benefits, do you have to call the IRS and wait 2/3 years for your return, if you are a home owner, you know what you can claim every year. I would not say anything more for now.

    • ThickkMadame Scantlebury
      ThickkMadame Scantlebury June 5, 2017 at 5:34 pm

      Stupse this is Barbados not new York or long island

    • Gavin Dawson
      Gavin Dawson June 5, 2017 at 5:38 pm

      ThickkMadame Scantlebury Exactly, what has New York or Long Island got to do with Barbados? Bajans have far too many problems of their own without having America’s as well.

    • Lavern Hinds
      Lavern Hinds June 5, 2017 at 5:42 pm

      He sound like a pure breed jackass

    • Ladyann Gill
      Ladyann Gill June 5, 2017 at 5:43 pm

      Hush ya mouth Anthony Williams this Barbados where a whole chicken raise right here cost $20 and up that u can barely feed ya whole family, a ham at Xmas cost $80 to $90. We package don’t come straight to we door tax and duty free, we got pay government we whole weekly earnings to clear any little box or Barrel ya get. We don’t get 10 box cake or 10 can foods fa $10. So Long Island my ass, who feels it knows. Somebody send you long Island to live u had choices, we don’t even have that.

    • Sunil Brome
      Sunil Brome June 5, 2017 at 6:27 pm

      Gavin Dawson she is referring to the clown who sees the need to compare our plight to that of someone owning a house in Long Island. Congrats Sir you can pay your taxes.

    • Charm Hinkson
      Charm Hinkson June 5, 2017 at 10:38 pm

      Anthony Williams it is stupid ppl like you that help have the country the way it is too. Wanna like comparing this little island to big states. Brother man we are in a different league from them. A small fry.

  11. Barbie Jean
    Barbie Jean June 5, 2017 at 5:06 pm

    Dear Minister, are you saying doctors are giving sick leave to persons who aren’t sick? Or to your mind don’t need it? The NIS I believe was out of the need to protect and help persons not capable of working . Not for Government to spend at will. It’s what we work for……HARD!!

    • Caroline Boxill
      Caroline Boxill June 5, 2017 at 5:21 pm

      Precisely smh I caan understand her logic . Sick leave was long before God knows when .It’s just that nuh money ain’t there to pay we so them want it look as though sick leave is the Damn problem stupseeeeee ..

    • Claire Battershield
      Claire Battershield June 5, 2017 at 5:41 pm

      True it is not a lending agency or a loan scheme .It is to help workers who fall ill.

    • Cecilia Millar
      Cecilia Millar June 5, 2017 at 7:48 pm

      Am wondering what would be the alternative to sick leave then as she said??

    • Eddy Murray
      Eddy Murray June 5, 2017 at 8:36 pm

      Death benefit

    • Cheryl Alleyne-Brooks
      Cheryl Alleyne-Brooks June 6, 2017 at 1:11 am

      Eddy Murray u too funny. Mek me laugh at this time of the morning

  12. Sophia Branch
    Sophia Branch June 5, 2017 at 5:07 pm

    Wanna for real that is no hand out it’s the people money they work for

  13. Fred Blackz
    Fred Blackz June 5, 2017 at 5:08 pm

    She is Seriously telling people 2 change their lifestyle……. how brek people suppose 2 do that stop de government from borrowing money from n.i.s until dem pay it back problem solve

    • Claire Battershield
      Claire Battershield June 5, 2017 at 5:44 pm

      Get rid of the government. That is something the workers supporting ministers and their habits we cannot afford

    • Fred Blackz
      Fred Blackz June 5, 2017 at 5:45 pm

      It’s true

    • Fred Blackz
      Fred Blackz June 5, 2017 at 5:49 pm

      Most of the working ppl in de island don’t work for de amount of money in a year these “representatives ” working for in a month yet they want more money n taxing de publiv harder

  14. Angus Benn
    Angus Benn June 5, 2017 at 5:09 pm

    People only get sick because they can’t get what they want . Why you refusing to give them a raise of pay.. Give them a raise of pay and you will see the difference.

  15. Itz Queen
    Itz Queen June 5, 2017 at 5:10 pm

    You all I’ll know who Doctor to go to when y’all get sick ,doctors that believe you when you say you are sick ,not a doctor that de Dr minister tell to send ya to work when ya sick.

  16. Cheryl Sobers
    Cheryl Sobers June 5, 2017 at 5:12 pm

    What. To high what about the money the. Government take up that was higher. Can stand she

    • Patricia Julyon
      Patricia Julyon June 5, 2017 at 5:52 pm

      Why do u ppl let your personal feelings stand in the way of good judgement and common sense or are you too biased to be sensibleĺ?

  17. Itz Queen
    Itz Queen June 5, 2017 at 5:12 pm

    Reasons persons were sick last year it’s because people can’t afford to eat

  18. Chris Barnett
    Chris Barnett June 5, 2017 at 5:18 pm

    = Happy someone finally said it✊

  19. Patricia Browne
    Patricia Browne June 5, 2017 at 5:18 pm

    They do not understand , people are stress out what are the diagnose depression anxiety stress .

    • Claire Battershield
      Claire Battershield June 5, 2017 at 5:45 pm

      Not sure if you getting send home. Ain’t getting pay on time. Work conditions poor and more

  20. Leroy June 5, 2017 at 5:22 pm

    Are you stupid???. Tell the public how much money did the sorry excuse for a government rake in with NIS . Employers are already mistreating employees, over working them and we gets no help from the powers in charge because politicians don’t have to go thru what we go thru not to mention that you all can and does be easily bribe to have things in employers favor. Prices are already sky high where as you can’t buy something proper to feed yourself and your children so our body’s can’t handle the load. So unless you want to see more people dropping down dead from unknown illnesses keep you f#$%ing mouth shut and talk about more money for employees and we income tax.

  21. Maureen Clarke
    Maureen Clarke June 5, 2017 at 5:25 pm

    Lol Cheryl Sobers

  22. Big Man June 5, 2017 at 5:26 pm

    Is this the same National Insurance Scheme that pumping $76 million into the construction and/or refurbishment of five police station complexes across the island.
    Three of the four being built will be completed on time and on budget. Construction of the fifth, at Six Roads, St Philip, is yet to start. This has been revealed not only by the director of the National Insurance Department, Ian Carrington, but by Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite, as they toured the new District “D” Police Station and Magistrates’ Court at Cane Garden, St Thomas.
    Or we have two National Insurance Scheme in Barbados
    $24 million in sick leave claims at the end of 2016 is of great concern to Minister of Labour Dr Esther Byer-Suckoo but not $76 million been pumped into the construction and/or refurbishment of five police station complexes across the island.
    Lord come fuh yuh world soon.

  23. Mhizz Kelly P Forde
    Mhizz Kelly P Forde June 5, 2017 at 5:30 pm

    Mouth open a whole c@nt jump out .

  24. Angela Griffith
    Angela Griffith June 5, 2017 at 5:33 pm

    You are very sick

  25. Akeem Thompson
    Akeem Thompson June 5, 2017 at 5:34 pm

    She should not even be a Minister

    • Passionate Angel
      Passionate Angel June 5, 2017 at 5:41 pm

      I agree with u 100 and more percent….i always saying dat….to me she aint got dat spunk to be a minister

  26. Sheldine Dyall
    Sheldine Dyall June 5, 2017 at 5:38 pm

    You supposed to be a doctor and know people would get sick. Everday people waking up dead and you still
    complaining about sick leave.

  27. Sean King
    Sean King June 5, 2017 at 5:39 pm

    Seriously .this chatter box wants to tell doctors if people sick not to give them sick leave .So if they come on the job and drop down dead whats worse then. All that happen you know due to your government keep using up the NIS funds that its running low so you prefer if people sick that they still go to work while your government spending it on failed projects or putting it in their friends pockets .Lets see when you go back to being a medical doctor after elections what you gonna tell your patients then . You does talk a roll of s..te Suckoo

  28. Vishska Bokeesh
    Vishska Bokeesh June 5, 2017 at 5:44 pm

    She again stupseee they boundaries of shame are truly below zero kill the labour department one time

  29. Sean King
    Sean King June 5, 2017 at 5:44 pm

    Also the amount of depression you all are causing on families and placing people in mental states you expect them to go to work and cope .This woman never talks anything sensible when she opens her mouth no wonder the people in St George get rid of her and have no intentions of putting her back in.

  30. Kim June 5, 2017 at 5:47 pm

    I sick of wanna,stupss

  31. Nico HL Beckles
    Nico HL Beckles June 5, 2017 at 5:48 pm

    So the millions wunna borrow and haven’t paid back aren’t a problem to the NIS but people claiming for sick benefits from their own contributions are……

  32. Big Man June 5, 2017 at 5:50 pm

    When Politics done wid Dr Esther Byer-Suckoo I hope she not going back into medical practice.
    Get all you can now yuh hear.

  33. Lavern Hinds
    Lavern Hinds June 5, 2017 at 5:51 pm

    Goat c**t award goes to none other than Esther-Byer Suckoo

  34. Nita Holligan
    Nita Holligan June 5, 2017 at 5:52 pm

    This is not a fair statement, there is no doctor under this sun can tell me I’m not sick they might not see on examination the reasons for my feelings and how would a doctor deny me the necessary documentation to get sick benefit……we are putting a lot of value on the cost and not the people.

  35. Antonio Cozier
    Antonio Cozier June 5, 2017 at 5:54 pm

    This is criminal why is this woman even a minister the people of Barbados vote her out resoundingly and she can still get up and draw a ministers salary this is criminal

  36. Sheena Sunshine
    Sheena Sunshine June 5, 2017 at 6:01 pm

    I can’t even say i hope she loose her seat because she didn’t win but still a Minister people pay NIS for a reason we are only human so at some point you will be sick this woman don’t want bajans to claim for nothing people like her i hope NEVER get sick and if ever return the cheque when it comes in the post

    • Sheldine Dyall
      Sheldine Dyall June 5, 2017 at 6:13 pm

      The sad thing is she supposed to be a doctor and should know better, this is a person that at some point in time give out sick leave in her profession. So sad what politricks have made her become.
      She’s really mashing up her career.

    • Eleanor Weekes
      Eleanor Weekes June 5, 2017 at 6:29 pm

      I can say that they certainly need to get rid of her! These politician are all for themselves..how dare her make such assumptions! People taxes remember, not yours!

    • Sheena Sunshine
      Sheena Sunshine June 5, 2017 at 6:37 pm

      Eleanor she is being ridiculous some of us are offered sick leave and don’t take it because you take the medication hoping it would work and you feel better but every time she have something negative to say about the employees and some employers making staff smell hell in the work places
      ** you are not paid from the employer when you are on sick leave so she think people will stay home if they don’t have a valid reason
      She bash employees for low productivity in the work place did she ever ask what are some of the factors for the low productivity
      She allowed the employers to most of the rights to cut the employees tail

    • Sean King
      Sean King June 5, 2017 at 8:07 pm

      Sheena Sunshine This is a minister and a stupid one at that ,she never stands up for the rights of employees but always have something negative to say about people trying to work for a honest dollar. if she could find the time to meet with doctors to tell them cut down on giving persons that are sick any leave it just goes to shows she cares nothing about people . I just hope when she returns to being a medical doctor that she gets no patients spending the salary they work hard for with her if they become ill.

    • Sheena Sunshine
      Sheena Sunshine June 5, 2017 at 8:23 pm

      Sean it’s not fair that each time she keeps making public statements bashing employees if a person gets into an accident, if someone had surgery things happen that will cause for long periods of sick leave but i guess she’s not human so these things will never happen to her

  37. Slaughter House
    Slaughter House June 5, 2017 at 6:01 pm

    High PM Vehicle Too Costly Cautions Slaughter House

  38. Coleridge Best
    Coleridge Best June 5, 2017 at 6:03 pm

    And that all is costy how all politicians life style!

  39. Nico HL Beckles
    Nico HL Beckles June 5, 2017 at 6:07 pm

    I wonder why so much people are getting sick…hmmm maybe it’s because a certain group of people drove the cost of living so high that regular doctor visits are a thing of the past, or started bringing in Chinese low quality medication that either don’t work or side effects would near kill you. Orrrr maybe because the human body sometimes catch illnesses that are contagious you know that does happen from time to time

    • Kath Eversley
      Kath Eversley June 6, 2017 at 11:50 am

      Orrrrr ya can’t afford to eat healthy. Fruits alone expensive af. Don’t even talk about the other “healthy” alternatives

    • Nico HL Beckles
      Nico HL Beckles June 6, 2017 at 12:27 pm

      Seeing that we lowly bajans shouldn’t e claiming for sickleave and using sick benefits funded by our own pockets we should defer NIS payments altogether seeing that us using a service meant for us is too much to ask

  40. Nothing this lady say don’t surprise me but how she get to be labour minister tho…its like slavery bout here for de white man n de government

  41. Sebastian Da Costa
    Sebastian Da Costa June 5, 2017 at 6:15 pm

    If Ya sick ya sick, is the environment safe ?

  42. Terry Mac
    Terry Mac June 5, 2017 at 6:20 pm

    Then she said employers need to understand that the way they treat employees and or the environment they work in may be a huge contributing factor. Then i think i could be wrong she mentioned that workers should take their health seriously and take leave if needed. Know. She back to contradicting her self

  43. Pam Brathwaite
    Pam Brathwaite June 5, 2017 at 6:22 pm

    Ppl sick of going to work daily sick in they minds…mentally and emotionally…seriously they need a break from all the hard economic times…so if ya mind sick d body have to play d role too

  44. Pam Brathwaite
    Pam Brathwaite June 5, 2017 at 6:25 pm

    Less money for d government to borrow…

  45. Angela Griffith
    Angela Griffith June 5, 2017 at 6:29 pm

    So true

  46. Amelia Gittens
    Amelia Gittens June 5, 2017 at 6:32 pm

    waitttt so government got crack down on doctors for issuing sick leave to sick ppl, so government could spend all, and we go to work sick and pay none all at we

  47. Wendell Kirton
    Wendell Kirton June 5, 2017 at 6:48 pm

    Dear Minister De people stress out vex and Hunger and we need a break every now and then .

  48. Peter R Rock
    Peter R Rock June 5, 2017 at 6:53 pm

    DLP is the government for the poor people of Barbados

  49. Mia Blackman
    Mia Blackman June 5, 2017 at 7:04 pm

    Taxes claim too high and the cost of living so let we work out a deal then!!

  50. Winnie Meade
    Winnie Meade June 5, 2017 at 7:05 pm

    This lady wonder why people sick is she joking cannot pay bill by food rent i would be so sick of dlp

  51. Empress-jay Brathwaite
    Empress-jay Brathwaite June 5, 2017 at 7:11 pm

    The prime minister new car is what going to make more people sick that’s our hard earn money we pay NIS with not yours

  52. Lynette Brewster
    Lynette Brewster June 5, 2017 at 7:11 pm

    Shut up N deal with the issues Minister

  53. Dennis Connell
    Dennis Connell June 5, 2017 at 7:17 pm

    Any time a worker recieves sick benefits now it is deducted from whatever you would have entitled to in your income tax returns..so in fact you not really benefiting…your own money being taken back from you…so whats her point?? Maybe i am too dumb to get it

  54. Goldzel Gi
    Goldzel Gi June 5, 2017 at 7:20 pm

    Stupse people does be real sick and can’t even afford to go on sick leave cause you paying nis every week then if you sick you ain’t receiving a cent , and for your information all these taxes making we the barbadian sick sick , bare damm stress, the other day you was talking a lot of Shiite bout let the people that retire medical unfit look for other jobs , you and the rest of toilet ministers sickening we ass and making we sick that’s why we got to get sick leave , don’t mind we can’t even afford to take the sick leave, stop spending we nis money so we can be sick in peace

  55. Hazel Best
    Hazel Best June 5, 2017 at 7:27 pm

    You all over taxing people. So it giving people stress and causing people to be sick

  56. Tony Webster June 5, 2017 at 7:40 pm

    This Honourable Senator, ought to legitimize what can only be kindly viewed as her “mis-speaks”….by running in the next election. Otherwise,I suggest she just drift off somewhere else, and allow a rational, responsible person to undertake such serious political responsibilities. It would be more appropriate that these be assigned to a member of The House, in the first place.

  57. Pat BB
    Pat BB June 5, 2017 at 7:43 pm

    Wonna getting free money, well ppl have to find a way to get some free too….
    Ppl sick sicka wonna.

  58. Toyna Green
    Toyna Green June 5, 2017 at 7:45 pm

    We sick ah dem

  59. Gittens Hallam
    Gittens Hallam June 5, 2017 at 7:49 pm

    With the kind of stress your​ government putting bajans Tru we must take sick leave,

  60. Penny-Ann Waithe
    Penny-Ann Waithe June 5, 2017 at 8:10 pm

    Well just now she gine talk about maternity leave….smh

  61. Itz Queen
    Itz Queen June 5, 2017 at 8:10 pm

    If wasn’t for sick people Dr suckyou wouldn’t be be a poption

  62. Ernesta Williams
    Ernesta Williams June 5, 2017 at 8:24 pm

    She want to play God she in want no one to get sick but we only getting or money we put there for when we sick and we sick of you

  63. Peve Jones
    Peve Jones June 5, 2017 at 9:09 pm


  64. Alex Alleyne June 5, 2017 at 9:34 pm

    You must keep people employed so to pay into the NIS. If you keep paying out and nothing coming in, it must go broke.
    Go talk to the UNIONS about “an honest day’s pay must be for an honest day’s work”. Don’t lag about during the 8 to 5 and then try to clean up on overtime.

  65. Morexa Martin-Gardiner
    Morexa Martin-Gardiner June 5, 2017 at 9:45 pm

    So are persistent loans to the government!!!!

  66. Coralita June 5, 2017 at 9:52 pm

    I knew a man (he has since died) who used to be sending in sick claim after sick claim and skipping the island, he was faking sickness. When sickness really hit his so and so and he sent in the claim, NIS nicely informed him that all of his benefits were used up. He aint get one red cent.

    Sometime last year the Human Resources Association voiced similar concerns that sick leave in companies across Barbados was through the roof and was very worrying, so in essence the Minister cannot be lying. There has to be statistics showing it. However, the minister needs to keep her mouth shut and let the sick leave continue. One day someone else will hear, all your benefits were used up.

    There is a doctor who was renamed TIMON, because all you had to do was to walk in his office and say you wanted time and you got it. Yah think he’s the only one??? I didn’t know bajans took such pleasure in being ill, I didn’t see one comment from anyone advocating that bajans need to make an effort to better take care of their health. Seems like Barbados is a nation of sick people. No wonder the health care bill is through the roof.

    Your health is your greatest wealth, when your health is gone, you are basically gone. There are people who are legitimately sick and there are those who are abusing the system. How do you differentiate? Just leave it alone, as we already know karma is a B**CH. One day the fakers will wish they had never faked being ill but for those who are legitimately ill, I wish you the best in your recovery.

  67. Fiona Griffith
    Fiona Griffith June 5, 2017 at 9:53 pm

    Sick leave claims are costly, but, unfortunately so many people are stress at work,under paid, bosses ill-threating them etc…. so sick will be high. Make the work places

    • Peter Lowe
      Peter Lowe June 6, 2017 at 11:29 am

      Fiona sick leave claims are costly to who. It can’t be de Government that does borrow millions of dollars from de same NIS that they claim don’t have any money.

  68. Mariarosa Blenman
    Mariarosa Blenman June 5, 2017 at 9:56 pm

    Ain’t that your hard earn money you are getting back

  69. Caroline Foster
    Caroline Foster June 5, 2017 at 9:57 pm

    Have you ever took the time to wonder why so much people are getting. Stress from trying to cope with the hardships of life in which you and your fellow party members bestowed upon us. The after market drugs aren’t as potient therefore one will have to take longer to get better. The poor man can’t afford to buy quality food like before so we have to eat what is available…what I have listed will have an effect on health

  70. Jack Ryan
    Jack Ryan June 5, 2017 at 10:14 pm

    the money u are using from the NIS funds to build courts and police stations should really be for the ppl. after all its the ppls money taken from their hard sweat and back breaking blood that goes into the fund for when they are sick and otherwise…NOT TO BUILD DAMN BUILDINGS. QUIT WASTING THE PPL NIS MONEY.AND INSULTING OUR DOCTORS. WANT PPL TO WORK EVEN WHEN ILL

  71. Saga Boy June 5, 2017 at 10:29 pm

    After reading a significant number of the above comments it is very clear that our education system has failed. Common sense and seasoning is lacking. Your ability to argue logically and intelligently is amazing. Those of you who have children or who interact with friends and family if this is the way you argue God help them.

  72. Buun June 5, 2017 at 10:31 pm

    How much money did your party tske from the NIS and we still can’t get our tsx returns snd you still owe to it?

  73. Renee Ricardo Harewood
    Renee Ricardo Harewood June 5, 2017 at 10:37 pm

    If it was a choice Not to pay NIS yall wouldnt be gettin a quart from day one from me .

  74. Saga Boy June 5, 2017 at 10:46 pm

    Are sick claims too high? Are doctors giving too much sick leave? This has been a problem for years under both administrations. You go to a doctor and they ask you how much time you want home. People eating badly and not exercising. We need to take responsibility for our health. If we do then the NIS would have more money available. The tax refund is another matter. What did the gov do with the money it took from NIS? They paid wages, built police stations etc.

  75. Angela Thompson Branch
    Angela Thompson Branch June 5, 2017 at 10:53 pm

    Then stop lending out the funds

  76. Saga Boy June 5, 2017 at 11:23 pm

    @Jack Ryan do you think the fund just gives away grants to the police and courts? Do you know the terms and conditions of the loans?

    @Coralita and Alex Alleyne you make excellent points that people fail to understand.

    @Ernesta Williams. You don’t understand how insurance works. Where is the evidence that the Minister is playing God?

    @Tony Webster. As usual you say a lot that adds up to nothing.

  77. DE June 5, 2017 at 11:55 pm

    Saga Boy a percentage of National Insurance is available for investment, which means that if you invest any amount of that percentage, you should receive returns on that money.
    It is not for building government buildings or paying wages.

  78. Saga Boy June 6, 2017 at 1:20 am

    @DE. You may have a point. I will check on the areas which can be invested.

  79. Andrea Jordan
    Andrea Jordan June 6, 2017 at 1:36 am

    This woman for real? It’s our money,this present administration is sucking the nipples of the NIS sore! People stressed out,the entire country isn’t well

  80. Sunshine Sunny Shine June 6, 2017 at 1:44 am

    Esther Byer Suckoo, you have a point. However, you must come to the realisation that there is a breakdown of what constitutes moral and ethnic conduct in Barbados. There are those who are deliberately trying to use the loopholes in the system to gain a distinct advantage for whatever outcome there are trying to achieve. Therefore if we look at the very top, we can see where it has started and how it has trickled down to the bottom so much so that those at the bottom are significantly affected by the ills going on at the top. You are right when you say doctors are giving sick time to persons who are not ill. That is not a now happening matter. That has been so for a long time. That is a known a fact. It is also known that many in the civil service do abuse the system through repeat sickness, rather ill or not. That is also known. What you fail to acknowledge if you have acknowledged it because I did not worry to read what is written in the article, is that the number one contributing factor in the civil service is that most are recruited by the influences of politicians, who are not interested in the quality of the person, and as a result of that, most are hardly professionals with proper work ethics. You also have the colossal failure by those at the top of not maintaining the work environment to a high standard. So many works in sick buildings, in environments that are highly stressed, under management systems that are stringent and at times draconian. I think it is fair to say that you do have a point relating to the high numbers of sick persons and the stress it has on the NIS. You are also at fault for not highlighting the major factors, and not pointing out, like some the commenters have rightfully identified, the government’s use of NIS money to finance various projects and to pay wages. Those are also impacts that are negative and impactful as well.

  81. jrsmith June 6, 2017 at 4:33 am

    Reading the comments exposes how fraudulent the system is in barbados , but not only in barbados is this happening , in the big old (UK) its the same …. (the difference ), people is arrested and prosecuted in the (UK)… our major problem inefficiency and corruption by govern is causing the bigger problem ………………
    ………………………What is ever so strange , how a government minister comes out with a figure from a department as like many others which have not being audited for a decade or more…….. If this minister can so positive , the government should now , explain to the black masses in barbados , what has happen to the 900 millions bds dollars which is missing…………………

  82. Milli Watt June 6, 2017 at 5:00 am

    understand what de minister saying……….if de 24 million was available to the NIS the political class would have it available to lend to questionable projects so they can earn wuflessly large fees (on both sides of the political isle) for peddling paper and looking busy. you all need to stop getting sick so she an she people can live

    • Leroy June 6, 2017 at 11:04 am

      Best comment so far,,lol

  83. Rawle Spooner
    Rawle Spooner June 6, 2017 at 5:06 am

    Not saying anyone should abuse NIS or unemployment insurance but they pay into it so politicians should look into taking away all the nice perks and benefits that they don’t pay into but just get for free compliments taxpayers.

  84. Coral Yearwood
    Coral Yearwood June 6, 2017 at 6:22 am

    What about when people go to claim sick benefit only to realise that their NIS being deducted from workplace but not being paid in.WHAT ABOUT THAT?

  85. Christopher A Oliver
    Christopher A Oliver June 6, 2017 at 6:26 am

    Well it looks like some of us have started dying on the Job.

  86. Lb June 6, 2017 at 7:08 am

    Poor people sick and dying of yall’s stupidity thats wa !!!!

  87. Concerned Citizen June 6, 2017 at 7:53 am

    LOL give the woman a break, she only preparing for what is to come.. because real nuff people are going to be stressed to death with all the impose taxes and cost of living increases heading our way.. so the number of sick will only quadruple to 100 Mil by the end of this calendar year.. Sooo Wat… they already have their 10% increase, did you get your tax return yet?

  88. Kira Barbados
    Kira Barbados June 6, 2017 at 8:14 am

    Tell de truth, ppl do overdo things thats why when some1 is sick its hard to believe. I knw a government worker that occassionally stays home when they ready.

  89. Kira Barbados
    Kira Barbados June 6, 2017 at 8:15 am

    But if u know u sick dont show off n then drop down at work. U aint that important to the place.

  90. Alvin Morris June 6, 2017 at 8:27 am

    If you think it’s too costly now, the people are going to be more stress now after this budget having to deal with paying so much taxes, so they will be more sick leave. The people pay into the NIS and you guys taking the money and lending government, soon there will be no money left for people who would be retiring soon.

  91. Barry June 6, 2017 at 9:08 am

    According to the latest available actuarial report, the NIS paid out $23.9mn, $25.3mn and $26.2mn on sickness claims in 2009, 2010 and 2011 respectively, so why is this woman complaining now about $24mn being spent in 2016? This certainly does not imply a sudden epidemic of free-loading and I wouldn’t have thought a per capita cost of less than $90 to be unduly excessive.

    What alternatives does the esteemed Minister have in mind??

  92. Sandor Barker
    Sandor Barker June 6, 2017 at 9:27 am

    The government and their thieving way, dishonest action and demonic practices got the ppl of Barbados sick.

  93. Ms. Fed Up June 6, 2017 at 9:32 am

    I would love to change my lifestyle Ms. Minister but unfortunately the cost of a healthier lifestyle is too high in Barbados. We the people of Barbados pay NIS and should benefit when necessary but no instead you and DEM want to use it as a cash cow and then complain about the amount of money being paid in benefits. If you all didn’t owe so much money to the fund it would not be in a crisis. Ohhh, I have a solution, let me get all my money in my hand and when I’m sick I will take care of myself cause since we cant get it when we need it you shouldn’t be controlling our hard earn money in the first place….straight!!!!!

  94. Reginald King
    Reginald King June 6, 2017 at 9:40 am

    But wait didn’t a headline say NIS contributing 75 million or something like that to the building of the police stations? I might have figure wrong.

  95. Felix Huggins
    Felix Huggins June 6, 2017 at 10:16 am

    Maybe the people of Barbados are sick of working for nothing. Get paid, buy a bag of rice and broke.

  96. Melly Mel
    Melly Mel June 6, 2017 at 10:31 am

    I so sick and tried of allllllllll of these DLP members that’s the honest truth . wanna is de ………. worst boy!!!!!!

  97. Jea Alleyne June 6, 2017 at 1:02 pm

    Whatever you give to them, they will never give back. They have a system of you be the “givers” and them the “takers”. The UK system is more “give” and “take”….. Yes, they are still taking but not everything like in Barbados…. This is colonialism, you cant ask a question, you are subjected to the most inhuman measures in the 21st century. Every week you wake up in Barbados, you have lost money due to the high prices of every foreseeable item or service in a developing country. It is cheaper to live in a developed country than here in Barbados, where items that are sooo cheap in Europe are sold at 3 times as much in Barbados. Plane fights are cheaper for UK People flying to Barbados than Barbadians flying to the UK. Every blessed thing in Barbados, the poor descendants of slavery are made to pay for more than the Europeans…… You will only be free when you stop paying into the slavers coffers. People (Bajans) look after yourselves and your families because the Government are certainly looking after themselves, on OUR money. Spend your own money on yourselves and let them look to see how they can live the lifestyles that they currently have. Stop paying and see if they have any type of system !! WAKE UP

  98. Helicopter(8P) June 6, 2017 at 1:40 pm

    A wired coding system with billing inputs will show which doctors are abusing the sick leave protocol! The C PT- 4 and I CD-10 coding system gives quick reference of the patients records. Information technology and robo-technology are areas that will take manual skills jobs and some technical jobs . Skills retraining is vastly important for my fellow nationals. Just imagine in the year 2004 I witnessed a field tractor that plowed a twenty acre field with no human aboard. A lawn mower which worked for the county highways which mowed the side of the highway Local Thirteen south in Delaware state. Those micro businesses and Cottage industries in Barbados are the ideal value added products. Get your trade marks and be proud of what you do!

  99. Max June 6, 2017 at 2:33 pm

    We need positive incentive. Rewards for persons who keep themselves healthy and do not claim sick leave. Perhaps a percentage of unused sick leave can be converted to vacation days at the end of no claim year. Or the employee gets some cash back.

    NIS not paying their pension once you already have one, so if you work your years without sick leave or unemployment claims you never get back any money. This encourages ppl to abusive sick leave to try and get back something from NIS.

  100. Leroy June 6, 2017 at 2:39 pm

    This administration would rather the public believe that we are the problem and deserving of chastisement, but the politicians are the problem. How can ppl collecting sick benefit they paid into be more of a problem then wunna spending the $ as wunna like?

    You serious tho?

  101. James Austin Bynoe
    James Austin Bynoe June 6, 2017 at 2:51 pm

    so crazy …. Dam

  102. Mark My Word June 6, 2017 at 2:51 pm

    Dr Esther Byer-Suckoo go take a rest, you are now tired and weary, Politics, your family and personal life has taken a toll on you. You need a massage and some Tender loving Care.
    It’s now time to give up Politics jump and don’t wait to be pushed like Patrick Todd or Patrick Tannis

  103. Greengiant June 6, 2017 at 5:27 pm

    You all are making this thing so political. We all know this is the silly season, but my Barbadians can’t be this silly or lacking social understanding about out national institutions.

    All governments in our history has used the N I S as a financier for projects, ans loans for the country because repayments are in local currency instead of foreign exchange if they borrow on the capital market. The only way N I S has been able to pay pensions, and other benefits is by investing our money. So the money for the police stations is a loan, that will be repaid with interest similar to so many other projects over the years. The N I S owns buildings in Barbados that is rented and least to public and private sector entities, they have investments in companies here, and overseas investments as well, so the point she’s making is that $ 24,000,000.00 is a lot of money to lose from the N I S in sickness benefits alone for one year. It’s too much for a small country like ours.

    I long to see the day when all employees in this country, in both private and public sectors are on contract where they can’t simply accumulate years leading to a company pension. I wish to see gratuity payments at the end of two year contracts, so those who spend time off the job will lose some of their gratuity, with others who carry the load getting more. The good productive workers will earn new contracts at the end of the agreed period, while the slackers will have to seek employment elsewhere.

    While I will always support fair work for fair pay, health and safety at work, provision of adequate care facilities for working single mothers, adequate transport for those working late at night, and of course humane domestic facilities while at work. I will never support workers who believe they have six certified sick days per year and who otherwise abuse the provisions placed in law for those with genuine issues. These workers need to be exposed as they too like the very politicians you all ridicule are robbing their fellow employees, compromising our children’s future, and skimming off valuable investment capital from the N I S. It’s time we act, and speak maturely on the several issues facing this country. This government has made some critical errors of judgement, some of their ministers have made irresponsible statements at times, but everything they say or does cannot be wrong. Life is simply not that way, so we need to support what’s right even if we cross the line of those we support politically.

  104. Allison Nurse
    Allison Nurse June 6, 2017 at 6:33 pm

    She remember she is a doctor?

  105. Princess Shay
    Princess Shay June 6, 2017 at 9:16 pm

    She is crazy. . How can it be to high of a cost. . When every week before i get my money nis done take out before it land in my hand .. nonsense. .. it’s our money tho

  106. Ressie Ossenfort July 2, 2017 at 11:24 am

    Appreciating the persistence you put into your blog and detailed information you provide.


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