I was pleasantly surprised when I listened to the joint press conference between the leader of the Grenada Progressive Movement, Mr Terrance Forrester and Mr. Patrick Simmons of the NDC on Tuesday 22nd.

This collaboration between two opposition parties indicates that there is still hope for Grenada.

While these two parties would have contested the last election and were unsuccessful, this did not deter them from voicing their views in support of the trade unions and the decision they have taken to procure workers’ rights.

Mr. Forrester has always been quite vocal on topical issues and have made very solid recommendations on many issues after leaving the House of the NNP. Give him that, he thinks outside of the “box”.

He suggested, for example that in order to raise finance for Health Care, a five dollars ($5.00) contribution can be charged to the seventy thousand water account holders within NAWASA, once mandated by the government, and to remit monthly to the new National Health Insurance board which he said on the GBN morning radio program two weeks ago with Brenda Baptiste.

He said it will generate three hundred and fifty thousand dollars per month ($350,000.00) which will amount to $4.2 million dollars per annum.

Wow. A no brainer I would say which every Grenadian will accept I’m sure.

He went on to say that this will go a long way in contributing to the National unliftment of the health sector and therefore Grenadians can be given a health ID card to “flash” in any doctor’s office.

Surely, as Mr. Forrester said , it will alleviate the issue of Grenadians having to “beg” the public for financial contributions to assist their loved ones with health care and avoid having to go around the country begging which he said is a National embarrassment.

I personally believe that this “gimme gimme” mentality and the begging condition which the government of the day has reduced our people to, especially those in rural Grenada, needs to stop.

This suggestion if accepted by government must guarantee to we the people, proper accounting of our money. I am suggesting that if Nawasa is used, they must remit and pay directly to a “National health insurance board ” because the question is, can we really trust the government of the day to be transparent and accountable? I beg to differ.

Nevertheless, it was amazing that two days after he made that suggestion, I heard an ad on GBN morning programme that the National Health Insurance plan is being revised. And again the Ad continues this Friday morning as I penned this letter.

Has the NHI committee just come alive? That’s why we need an opposition in our country. Both the Government, people and country will benefit.

It means therefore that the government of the day is listening to Mr Forrester’s suggestion. Grenadians must be grateful for him having left the NNP because it appears that his skills and talents were stifled in that organisation .

But interestingly, the Chairman of that NHI committee, Senator Chester Humphrey, our President of the Senate, has been charged with this responsibility almost two years prior to the election of March 2018, and apparently nothing has been accomplished to date.

I believe he has gotten too busy these days and therefore the Government needs to appoint a new chairman to get this “sick” matter moving. Three years is too long for implementation.

As a strong supporter of the NDC, I hope they realise that they have to take a page from Keith Mitchell’s book and attract “fresh blood” from outside of their support base as he KCM has been doing, otherwise NDC could suffer another heart attack next time around which could very well be fatal. Already, there are positive talks on the ground with regard to what the public has seen so far in this initiative of having a joint press conference between these two Parties.

It signals to me and many friends of mine that this collaboration could grow into a formidable relationship which could put the NDC back in the driver’s seat as a formidable replacement to the NNP, but they need to work hard and present a credible team to we Grenadians.

Terry Forrester has been a strong foundation and development member of the NNP for years and no doubt has helped to create a strong political winning machine over the years for the NNP.

If the NDC is wise, they should take council.

Sharlene Paul

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