On Wednesday, the PUP pulled out all the surgical tape and sutures it could get its hands on and pieced together a combination of its 2008, 2012 and 2015 health plans and threw in a few current phrases, which it then presented as its Healthcare Policy 2020. Perhaps the biggest revelation from their 2020 Healthcare policy is the fact that the PUP plans to build a few Occupational Therapy Centres (asylum) across country. It is not clear whether these Occupational Therapy Centres are to house the regular citizens or for themselves, because either the PUPs are crazy to think that we will vote for them, or we are crazy if we were to vote for them based on their outdated health plan.
They spoke of building new hospitals in Punta Gorda, Belmopan and one on Ambergris Caye. When they speak about building a hospital on Ambergris Caye, we need to ask them why they did not build that hospital when they were last in office. The document also speaks about increasing the number of nurses per 1,000 population. Do the PUP not remember that we once had a thriving Bliss School of Nursing, which never failed to produce good quality nurses, who were so qualified that they were sought after both regionally and internationally because of their level of training, skills and competence?
However, the biggest and most worrisome proposal in their health plan is that old 20-year-old catchy phrase “We will roll out NHI.” While rolling out NHI in itself is not a bad thing, it worries us because another part of the plan states, that they will establish a fair, competitive and transparent tendering procedures. That instantly sounds like another PUP grab-tub. Then another troubling part of the plan is the establishment of private/public health/PAHO Commission to facilitate an Integral Health System. They shied away from the use of Universal Health System. Transparent indeed, the mention of the word INTEGRAL HEALTH reminded us of that huge bill of over 100 MILLION DOLLARS, for that Hospital which we don’t own, but their Lord and Master is lurking in the wings to collect for if the PUP were ever to return to government. All they did here was to change the word Universal to Integral.
We have seen this song-and-dance before. We have seen them set up their cronies with the Universal Health Services deal, which would have been financed by the NHI but it failed miserably simply because it was the PUP who had a hand in it. It was never about having healthcare for all; it was always about lining their pockets.