The Keith Mitchell-led government in St. George’s has announced that it will introduce a National Health Insurance by the end of June.
Addressing the convention of the ruling New National Party (NNP) on Sunday night, Implementation Minister Emmalin Pierre, said that the programme will be rolled out within the next three months and will be available for all nationals.
“We believe that healthcare is a fundamental right that every citizen must have access to. Just as we believe that education is a right, so we believe that healthcare and the services must be a right to our people”, she told party supporters.
The scheme will be the first for Grenada and while the details of the type of health care services were not given, the minister did not state whether a cost ceiling would be applied to the scheme that would be managed by the National Insurance Scheme.
“We are introducing in collaboration with the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) because we are very confident that the NIS is a reputable organisation best suited to manage the affairs for the National Health Insurance.
So brothers and sisters when we launch this initiative and when the registration process begins it means that you would have access to a special card; and this means that you will have access to a list of services including some of our diagnostic like those that you access from Spice Isle Imaging on the Carenage (a private medical diagnostic and imaging company).
“We are saying the time has come that you walk to Spice Isle Imaging with your card and nobody has to ask you who you are, which constituency you came from, which insurance you (are) in or how much money you have or don’t have.
“We are saying proper healthcare must be a right of the people of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique,” she told party supporters.
Social Development and Housing Minister Delma Thomas urged the party faithful to “let us do what is right for the party, cease from making those mistakes that will destroy our party”.
“Stop giving the opposition ammunition,” she told the supporters.
In recent weeks, political activist Kennedy Budhlall who is a strong supporter of the party has been calling for a rebranding of NNP and for the search to start for a successor to the 70-year old Prime Minister Mitchell.
Budhlall also hinted that the other elderly statement of the party, Foreign Affairs Minister Elvin Nimrod who is nearing 75 should be thinking of calling it a day on the sister isle of Carriacou & Petite Martinique which he has been representing as MP since 1999.
He mentioned former Congress Foreign Affairs Minister, Peter David, now a card bearing NNP member and Works Minister, Gregory Bowen as the two persons who should be in contention to replace Dr. Mitchell at the helm of the ruling party.
Speculation is rife that Grenadians could go to the polls sometime between May to June.