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Eustace lists three-step approach to the issue of national health

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President of the New Democratic Party (NDP) Arnhim Eustace has outlined a three-step approach to the issue of national health.

The first he said is promoting wellness.

“The cost of health care could be cut drastically if we work to ensure that our people do not get sick in the first place. If you are living healthily, then you don’t need that much health care, so the cost of health care will fall…,” Eustace told listeners at a rally in Calliaqua last Saturday.{{more}}

Additionally, Eustace said an NDP government will move aggressively to implement a public policy that will promote healthy lifestyles and good nutrition through education and awareness.

“We shall implement policies that will help to boost organic production in agriculture…

“We will emphasize nutrition education in our schools. We will develop a system for community sports and recreation, among other areas. We will also develop a robust public health system that places emphasis on prevention and for a system of annual medical check-ups for all citizens to catch any potential problems early,” the NDP head said.

He added that remaining pillars of the NDP’s health care policy will come into effect when Vincentians become sick.

Speaking on the development of a national health insurance scheme, Eustace said too many times Vincentians fall ill and have to resort to holding fund-raisers or generous donations to obtain the best basic medical attention.

“A national health insurance scheme will be there to help fund people. In 2000, the NDP hired the University of the West Indies to develop our national health insurance plan and when we lost the election in 2001, that plan was already prepared and ready for implementation.

“So, we were to have national health insurance since 2001. This Government has slept on that for the last 14 years…. We are bringing it back in 2016,” Eustace promised, and suggested that one per cent of Vincentians’ salaries go towards the health insurance scheme.

He further noted that all of the work has already been done and that they would just need to update some of the work and begin implementation of the national health insurance scheme.

Eustace is also of the view that no nation is worthy of its name if its government is unable or unwilling to take care of its people.

“Our people must not suffer and die just because government has failed to invest in their health. Health care has never been a priority for the Unity Labour Party (ULP), and people have suffered and died because of it, and this must change and it will change under the NDP,” he said.

Eustace further stated that the NDP will fight to eliminate this country’s biggest killer – poverty.

“Poverty that prevents many Vincentians from being able to afford to eat daily and healthily. If people cannot eat daily and eat healthy food, they can’t perform. They are not at their best to make their contribution to society and their families,” he added.(KW)

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