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Fri 5th Feb 2021

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ULP regime not doing enough to save Vincentians’ lives

Leader of SVG Green Party, Warrant Officer Ivan Bertie O’Neal BSc (hons), MSc, MBA, says the ULP regime needs to do much more to protect the health of Vincentians. Covid-19 and dengue fever are both spreading around the country and taking Vincentians’ lives and yet the ULP regime still does not adequately fund the health and medical services in SVG.

For many years, the nation's health service has been starved by Gonsalves, with as little as $88.20 per person, per year, been budgeted to be spent on health.

Whilst Vincentians’ lives are needlessly being lost, Gonsalves still gives the super-rich of Mustique and Canouan tax and customs duties exemptions of millions of dollars a year. Also, Taiwan is allowed to cream-off hundreds of millions of dollars from SVG's fish licence and not pay one dollar of tax to the SVG Treasury.

It is a sick mindset whereby a government burdens the black poor to financially support the country and lets the white rich live a life of tax-free luxury. They must really enjoy seeing the black people of SVG suffer.

When Vincentians are ill, their families should not have to go begging for thousands of dollars to pay for medicines or treatment at better equipped hospitals abroad. Much more money needs to be invested into SVG’s health and medical services to create world-class hospitals in SVG. Emergency health care services in this country need to be better equipped. Hospitals must stock all the medicines are people need.

The health system should be free for all Vincentians. In the past we have heard heart-breaking stories of poorer people being forced to go out on the street, in a state of ill-health, and beg people for money for medicines. We have heard how some people are not able to leave hospital until they pay for an ambulance to transport them home. This is an appalling state of affairs and disrespectful to all Vincentians.

The SVG health service is woefully inadequate. We have seen in the past Gonsalves choosing to fly abroad when requiring medical attention and be treated elsewhere. It is the very poor who suffer the most in SVG as they cannot afford the medicines, let alone fly abroad for treatment. Gonsalves' policies are destroying the health service and there is much concern about abuse of health service assets.

We may get to a stage soon where if you are knocked down in the street and an ambulance is called, they will check your wallet before they check your pulse. Can you afford to pay? Even if you make it to hospital, you may find that they put the stethoscope to your wallet instead of your chest.

We need to create revenue for the country so that we have a proper, free national health service. We cannot have people dying or suffering ill health, just because their wallet is empty. We must provide a suitable free medical care system for all SVG citizens. How can the poor be expected to earn money to feed their families, if there are no jobs and they must spend their limited finances on medicines? This is unacceptable and immoral.

Leader of SVG Green Party, Warrant Officer Ivan Bertie O’Neal BSc (hons), MSc, MBA, says to pay for a world-class health and medical service in SVG, a Green government would abolish the Mustique Act and end the tax and customs duties exemptions given to the super-rich parasites of Mustique and Canouan and modernise the SVG Fish Act so Taiwan pays taxes to the SVG treasury.

Gonsalves' economic policy of begging and borrowing is not sustainable and is turning SVG into Haiti. There has to be a positive change in our mindset, so that we put the people of SVG first, especially the poor. We need a Green economy to create jobs and a better health service.

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