Miller’s proposed health review rejected

| 24/08/2017 | 24 Comments

(CNS): The government rejected a proposal by the opposition leader to have a joint select committee review what he has described as the crisis in local healthcare provision in all areas. Ezzard Miller filed a private member’s motion asking for a six member panel made up of four government members of the LA and two opposition members to join forces and engage in a public review of the entire system. But both Health Minister Dwayne Seymour and Premier Alden McLaughlin said government already had a plan to address the issues impacting health.

As Miller presented his motion on the parliament floor Thursday, he outlined many of the problems that are plaguing the current system and frustrating everyone: patients, healthcare providers, health insurance firms and regulators.

Miller said patients were being denied surgery because they could not afford the co-pay as their cover is inadequate, others could not get cover at all and financial barriers were preventing Caymanians in all quarters from accessing quality healthcare.

The North Side representative also said that healthcare providers were increasingly frustrated by the barriers they face to provide care for those in need. He said insurance firms were complaining about patient abuse of insurance and healthcare providers were trying to increase their payments.

Local doctors are being prevented from advancing in their careers because they cannot get the help they need for specialist training, and regulators are being shackled by the lack of political will to shore up and enhance the legislation they need to properly regulate all areas of the sector.  

He said that during the recent hearings on a report by the auditor general the Public Accounts Committee, which he chairs, found glaring examples at the top of the health ministry of a serious lack of knowledge and commitment to provide the policy direction that the sector needed.

Calling for a bipartisan effort to work on recommendations to improve quality, access and even reduce costs in healthcare, Miller said it was in real crisis and it needed a comprehensive review and not just more piecemeal changes to suit specific individual requests.

However, his appeal was rejected by government.

Seymour, who has been at the helm of the health ministry for just three months, said he already had ideas and was shaping policy to improve things. From what he had seen so far from the team, he said, things were “heading in the right direction” and he would be reforming healthcare to “stop the bleeding”, as he declined to support the motion.

The premier told Miller that government “has a plan”, which was outlined in the Strategic Policy Statement, to deal with healthcare improvements and access to it. 

“I have been around long enough to understand if you send anything to a select committee, you submit it to abject failure,” he said, adding that waiting on a committee would tie the minister’s hands. McLaughlin said his government understood how serious things were and that it was a matter of national importance. They would get on with dealing with it, he said, and more details would be revealed when the budget is delivered in October.

He said he also believed that the government policy on healthcare was in some respects diametrically opposed to Miller’s position, and as the government it reserved the right to pursue its policies. Nevertheless, McLaughlin said he was happy to hear contributions from opposition members.

Miller railed against the government’s response and said the complaint about committees was a red herring. He raised his concerns that the ministry staff are unqualified and incapable of making the changes needed, as he warned of dire times ahead if government did not act quickly and effectively.

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Category: Health, health and safety, Health Insurance, Policy, Politics

Comments (24)

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  1. Jotnar says:

    12 December 2013 Hansard. Hon Alden McLaughlin speaking on the National Conservation Bill. “We in this House today have an opportunity to ensure that whatever has been done in the past, whatever mistakes we have made, we will ensure that going forward care and thought is taken when it comes to future developments, that developments are environmentally friendly, that they take into account the consequences attendant with the development,”

    ….except it seems when he then wants CIG to gazette a road, because the law shouldn’t apply to him.


  2. Anonymous says:

    Everything Ezzard does seems calculated to manipulate his political opponents or gain some political capital or make some other carefully planned political manoeuvre. In a land of untrustworthy politicians he seems like one of the least trustworthy. I could be wrong (hope I am) but it sure feels that way.


    • Crimea Rivers says:

      If there is one thing Ezzie is well versed in, its rejection.


    • Fred the Piemaker says:

      At least Ezzard is not openly disavowing a law that he not only voted for, but which his administration put in place. Its apparently ridiculous now, but it wasn’t when the previous PPM government led by the Premier placed it on the statute book. I guess its like the PR application disaster – again, law brought in by the Premier which he now cannot apparently recall having placed on the statute book – nothing to do with him, no sirree Bob.


  3. Anonymous says:

    Ezzard knows more about health (as a certified health care professional and past Minister of Health) that Alden & John-John combined!! It’s appalling that they would not consider his motion. As i suspected, trying to make him look weak as Leader of the Opposition.

    My prediction – Government’s intended health care ‘fixes’ will be too little and too late.


  4. Anonymous says:

    sell hospital to dart! politicians cant run a hospital……dart will have a world class facility there…


    • Sharkey says:

      Then everyone would have a Healthcare system that only a few can afford .


    • anonymous says:

      Mmm….. running a country’s health care system entirely privately doesn’t seem to have worked out too well for the U.S., has it? Which is probably why all the other developed countries use a universal/private approach. But as one American told me “just because they do doesn’t mean it’s right”. Mmmm…….now where’s that Kool- Aid Revd.Jim was dishing out?


  5. Anonymous says:

    opposition leader????……. feel sorry for caymanians…..


  6. Chucky says:

    Perhaps if you had stayed in the agreement that was made after the elections and kept your ego out of things, you would be minister today.
    Now all you can do is make noise like you did for the past 4 years. You can’t do anything for the people now.


  7. Anonymous says:

    Jennifer Ahearn is the real minister of health who has all the power which is a real problem. Dwayne Seymour and Alden McLaughlin are fooling themselves if they think they are driving government’s health policies as cabinet members.


  8. Anonymous says:

    Ezzard I blame you, you should have been the Minister of Health you had a chance but declined. Now you would not have been subjected to been rejected by the Govt. Lets face it Cayman Healthcare System is failing just like the UK. All your findigs are correct but its appears the now Minister of Health is playing oblivious as he hasn’t got a clue where to start. Someone like you who comes from a medical background would have been the ideal MOH. If at first you dont succeed try try again.


    • Anonymous says:

      medical background!!
      He comes from as much as a medical background as me.
      I was born in a hospital so that’s my background.


      • Anonymous says:

        Anon 10:00am. You must be a Caymanian with that crabs in a bucket mentality. Miller is a past Minister of Health, A trained Pharmacist and has a masters degree in Hospital Administration and you think you are as qualified because you were born in a hospital? SMH.


  9. Sharkey says:

    I told him he couldn’t clean a dirty pot with dirty water .


  10. Unison says:

    Look like Premier Alden Mclaughlin don’t want a unified effort to better healthcare, as this would mean his party or the government he heads not getting the credit. It looks just like that, or else why would he worry it slows down progress. Healthcare is a matter that takes time and special review.

    And of course, MLA Dwayne Seymour is on board with the Premier, as he is scoring political points as well …

    I just wish these men can put away their egos and do what’s best for the common people of this country :/


  11. Crimea Rivers says:

    Just a small town boy, livin’ in a lonely world.


  12. Anonymous says:

    Ezzard needs a personal health review


    • Anonymous says:

      Do not shoot the messenger. If all of you think the HSA is not in shambles then get sick and go up there to see a doctor, then need some medicine and take a walk over to the pharmacy. If after that you are not comvinced then get admittted and after you are discharged try sorting out your bill that they totally messed up. Things will never get better without a real management change in the way they do things., You don’t have to have Ezzard as a part of this, just make sure it is not left solely in the hands of john-joihn and the Premier. After you have done all of the above come back on CNS and tell us what you found out, or go on Radio and TV and let the entire island (s) know.


      • Anonymous says:

        As a driftwood of 50 years in Cayman and a frequent visitor to Pharmacy, I notice that the nastiest,..really nasty…loudest most ignorant complainers in the Pharmacy about “Gernment” are those indigents who are getting everything free from “Gernment” and before anyone says anything, yes, from their accents and I know most of them, they are born Caymanian. So don’t bother with the stupid stuff about the Gold Rush of 2003 bringing in all these Jamaicans blah blah.



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