Douglas, who was at the time speaking on his weekly talk show ‘Ask the Pm’ outlined that as a result of major infrastructural, staffing, management, training, equipment, and other improvements in the health sector, the expected life span in the Federation was increased.
“We should take real pride in that. And because Labour had always felt that ready access to health care was a must, Labour moved to establish and improve the health centers in Sandy Point, St. Paul’s, Dieppe Bay, Saddlers, Molineux, Cayon, St. Peters, New Town so that the people of these communities could receive healthcare without having to travel great distances,” Douglas said.
Douglas said that his government ensured that health centers were located throughout the island. He added that preventive services such as pap smears and dental examinations are now provided free of cost at these centers.
“If you do not have children, you might not realize that school children in St. Kitts and Nevis are seen without charge at our hospitals and health centers,” Douglas said.
Douglas said that under the direction Ministers of Health, Dr. Earl Asim Martin and Marcella Liburd, his Government has begun implementing programmes of free health insurance, covering vision, psychiatric, surgical, wellness, gynecological, dental and other care for every National of the federation.
“Already covered under this plan are our country’s police officers, our firemen, and members of the defense force. Already covered as well are our country’s sanitation workers, our teachers, prison employees, the doctors, nurses, health center and hospital personnel employed by the Government,” Douglas said.
Civil servants, Members of Cabinet, and elected members of the Opposition are also covered according to Douglas who added that the next group to be covered will be persons on public assistance and/or are minimum wage earners.
He added that it was “significant that 98 percent of children in St. Kitts and Nevis are vaccinated” and health officials and workers have beaten that dreaded phenomenon of mothers transmitting the HIV to their infants.
“My Government decided, however, that we would do everything in our power to save Kittitians and Nevisians the cost of travel, the stress of travel, and the cost of overseas dialysis treatments by providing this life-saving treatment in the Federation,” Douglas said.