Health minister aiming for ‘adequate’ cover

| 17/07/2017 | 31 Comments
Cayman News Service

Health Minister Dwayne Seymour at the dump with bales ready for recycling

(CNS): Dwayne “John-John” Seymour, a critic of the Progressives during the campaign who then joined the coalition government as health minister, believes everyone in Cayman should have “adequate health insurance coverage”. The Bodden Town MLA is understood to have been the second member to break from the independent group during the horse trading in the wake of the indecisive election result in order to seize the Cabinet seat on offer.

Seymour, whose only connection to the health sector comes from his one-time membership of the Health Insurance Commission, began a tour of his new portfolio at the Department of Health Regulatory Services last week.

During the tour, he told the department’s staff that he looked forward to working with them to ensure that everyone in the Cayman Islands has adequate health insurance coverage.

On the campaign trail, before he knew he would be health minister, Seymour said that “under my leadership” there would be no more refusal of health care to Caymanians and no sick child would be deprived of medication.

During the campaign Seymour had focused on unemployed locals and the discrimination they face. When he took part in one of the Chamber of Commerce debates, he brought the house down when he stated that if elected to office, he would, “on day one”, put a freeze on all work permits until every unemployed Caymanian had been given a job.

However, some two months after the elections, there is no such freeze, underlying the problem that the Independent candidates on the government benches will have fulfilling promises made on the campaign trail. Seymour is not dealing with immigration and, as a member of Cabinet, he is bound by the collective responsibility of government leadership, and it is not a PPM policy to freeze permits.

Seymour will have to focus his attention on the reforms needed in healthcare. As such, his ministerial tour included a visit to the Cayman Islands Hospital in George Town, where he met with the Health Services Authority (HSA) Chief Executive Officer Lizzette Yearwood, HSA Board Chairman Jonathan Tibbetts, the senior management team and staff. The minister visited a number of hospital departments and wards, while being briefed on the important functions of each area.

After the health department tours, Seymour was joined by Captain Eugene Ebanks, his ministry councillor, to visit the dump. During his previous stint as a United Democratic Party MLA, Seymour supported moving the landfill to Bodden Town. But after the party leader and former premier, McKeeva Bush, was ousted from office and Seymour joined the interim five-month administration as minister for community affairs, he accused Bush of throwing him under the bus regarding the dump relocation, given that he was a Bodden Town representative.

On the more recent campaign trail when he was criticising his new government colleagues, Seymour accused the previous PPM government of excuses over failing to advance important government projects.

While visiting the landfill he said nothing at all about the current plans to begin a request for proposals for a new integrated waste management project, even though CNS understands the Department of Environmental Health is waiting on Cabinet to push forward the request for proposals on this issue.

Seymour will now be overseeing what is likely to be one of the most valuable public contracts the government has ever tendered and a process that is bound to attract controversy.

While at the capital’s landfill and recycling plants, he told staff, “I want you to know that all your hard work is appreciated by us and the people of the Cayman Islands,” He added, “Do not think that we have forgotten you; we are aware of all that you are doing and how important it is.”

After a drive around the landfill to see the work at the facility, Seymour added, “This has been a very educational few days as I meet with staff and learn first-hand the issues that we are facing, as well as the good work that is being done.”

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Category: Environmental Health, Health, Health Insurance, Medical Health, Politics

Comments (31)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    “Adequate coverage?” How about a retired civil servant whose monthly pension doesn’t even cover CINICO on a monthly basis, let alone basic living expenses? Yet I’m REQUIRED to have medical insurance! Try enforcing that one.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I wonder if Mr. Seymour’s family has just “adequate coverage.” My guess is he has a premium plan.

  3. Anonymous says:

    The man just got elected into office, please give him some space to breathe. You cannot pleased everybody at once, and you cannot expect to live your life in one-day. Now how in the world do you all expect Mr. Seymoure to call every Bodden Towner when he has work of importance to do? Where is your sense of humor people? Mandatory changes will eventually be made, just give him some time to prove his self worth.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Have we gone to shit! What happened to being a proud country that wanted the best. You get what you vote for! Dwayne 2017 Adequate Healthcare aka I’m moving to Canada!

  5. SSM345 says:

    How many consultant reports is he going to commission that tell him what to do and at what cost to the public?

    I want him to go after these thieving insurance companies which charge me $18K per year for my families health insurance (my wife and 2 kids) yet won’t cover an overnight stay at the hospital for my wife when she is 9months pregnant and has been ordered to stay by the doctor.

    Work on that Mr. Seymour.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Jon Jon is already a huge disappointment, spends most of his time hanging out with Alden at the bar now-a-days. I have already written him off.

  7. Anonymous says:

    We can only pray that Mr. Seymour takes time to educate on the healthcare industry.

    CNS: The rest of this comment has been posted as a featured comment here.

  8. Anonymous says:

    yes I’m sorry to say this now, they are all full of empty promises while campaigning see them all the time that’s why we vote for them, never thought I would see it for myself first hand, once there in that’s it carn’t find any one of them to help there own people who need help, just take that big fat pay check !!!!

  9. Teets says:

    Dental coverage might be useful.

  10. Anonymous says:

    yeah yeah….they probably pass another law so person’ s cant sue the hospital or doctors? remember section 12 ???

  11. Anonymous says:

    Clueless….. another four years of ZERO results

    • Anonymous says:

      If we see “zero results” from our politicians, we have only ourselves to blame. Caymanians love to complain but we have yet to get organised and mobilised. We have yet to produce a an activist front that is able to put intense and credible pressure on the lazy could-not-care-less politicians to effect meaningful change in the broken health care system. “Zero results” is less of an indictment against politicians as it is a sad commentary of where Caymanians as a people are today. Sad, sad, sad. What an pathetic and impotent lot we have become! We waste our votes on the same ol’ and then expect better. When “better” fails to come, we resign ourselves to yet another four years of same ol’ and “zero results”. Pathetic! Now stop to think: politicians are deemed to be the cream of society, the finest paragons of leadership we have, right? Has it ever occurred to you that maybe the inept, self-serving lot of ’em indeed are the very best we can produce? Seems we can’t do any better. Maybe they do represent the essence of what it means to be Caymanian. After all, they are popularly-elected, well known, well-liked, sons of the soil. Maybe that’s why we so badly need expats: to actually get stuff done. Food for thought.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Well, there should be nothing stopping Seymour from moving the dump to Bodden Town now, and ridding the capitol of this eyesore.

  13. Anonymous says:

    To quote another “I didn’t know health care could be so complicated”. We are praying for you and the country brother!

    • Reva Ritch-Bodden says:

      As a health care worker I know how complicated health care can be, and if you dont have people in the department who know what they are doing things will not get done and not get done properly.

  14. Anonymous says:

    CNS, the campaign is over. We all know how the Hon Minister made it to cabinet. Can we please focus on the issues and stop seeking to undermine by heaping undertones of disrespect and doubt at his capacity to handle the issues. The minister, like others, will have a lot of technocrats around him that will bring him up to speed on what obtains. His political decisions in that mix are his to make and his ministerial decisions has its genesis in a collective responsibility majority decision-making process. So please hold on all of the gap-filling, innuendo, doubting undertones and let the Minister get on with forging a pathway forward.

  15. Anonymous says:


    All that mattered to Joke joke was to get in that Cabinet seat. He abandoned his colleagues and now has become Aldens minion. We may as well had kept Ossie because Joke Joke aint gonna git er dun. I already hear BT East people complaining about not being able to reach him.

    • Anonymous says:

      People like you are a problem. Leave the man alone to do what he needs to.

      Why should he be available for every damn call from BTE? You crazy? How is it even feasible?

      Try hush and take a seat!

      • Anonymous says:

        He could take one call a day at least.

      • Anon says:

        Compared to most countries in the world, the MLA to constituent ratio is more than enviable in BTE.

        Might be a large district but that isn’t an excuse to ignore your constituents.

      • Anonymous says:

        Being available to his constituents is what he signed up for. It is job, you idiot!

  16. Michel says:

    Happy to hear those news John John. Wishing you success with that.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Healthcare ? What do you mean ? Paying 200 a month because that is what 6$ an hour can afford, and than get NOTHING in return ?
    A friend of mine needs an mri, at a cost of 3k. Insurrance only covers 1k. Where do you get 2000$ from if you only make 800 a month ?
    People will die !!!

    • Anonymous says:

      You are being ripped off people! Had a quote for MRI scan privately in the local hospital, not on the Nhs, in the UK last week £350 sterling (approx $350ci). Cayman definitely needs to drop down their prices…………in everything! I wouldn’t like to think what surgery costs. No wonder Caymanians and Jamaicans are running to live in the UK.

  18. Anonymous says:

    A new ambulance good sir. Two would be better. Have you seen the heaps driving around.

  19. Sharkey says:

    Do we know why Mr Seymour wouldn’t be able to put the freeze on work permits . Because the Premier knew he Seymour would do what he campaigned on , that’s why the Premier gave him the Ministry he has .

  20. Anonymous says:

    A likeable lightweight. No Caymanian is or ever has been denied health care so that was just electioneering on the Cayman for Caymanian thing which is understandable. Same with the work permit freeze. Works well with his type of supporter but cannot work in reality. Trump did the same type of crap ….drain the swamp, then filled his cabinet with the people from the swamp. Politricks. Dwayne has a lot to learn. Can he?

  21. Anonymous says:

    All jokers. None are true leaders, atleast not leaders that live up to their word.


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