Letters & Opinion

What makes a Minister so special?

By James Stanislaus

Many members of the SLP criticised the former administration for attempting to run government like a business, but we often wondered what was their reasoning for questioning such a policy.  Today, with all the concerns of many regarding the high cost of medical bills from our French sister island allows us to clarify some of the reasons.

First to begin with, we are at a loss to understand why government holds itself responsible for paying medical bills for Ministers.  A Minister like the other nine thousand civil servants employed by government should be responsible for their own medical bills.  Similarly, the thousands of employees working within the private sector are responsible for their own medical bills.

From a business point of view, all employees should protect themselves with their own insurance policy.  In the case of Ministers having to travel abroad, government should take out an insurance policy to safeguard these Ministers going abroad for their duties.  Additionally, it is a whole lot cheaper for government to take out health insurance for all Ministers in the event that they fall ill during their five-year term of office.  Taking such a policy for a number of Ministers, government could easily negotiate a good rate with a recognized insurance company on island.  We are quite sure if this advice is followed, the premium over a five-year period would certainly be far less than the 750,000  Euros or EC $2.2 million owed to Martinque presently.  Further, with a bulk insurance taken by government and divided equally amongst the seventeen Members of Parliament is the most economical way forward for both government and the Members of Parliament.

Having spoken to the  number one insurance  company on island, they have confirmed that the total annual premium for 17 members of Parliament would be EC $ 40 thousand  or $ 3400 EC per month. Yet all the bright sparks  in Government  have not considered this way forward.  There’s no need to even take out a special plan if they do not want to. There is already an existing medical plan covering hundreds of civil servants. It is administered by the Civil Service Association. They could simply add them to this existing policy at the very least.

The taxpayers of this country have enough on their plate to have to swallow those exorbitant medical bills.  FOOD FOR THOUGHT.

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