Minister hints at free healthcare for kids

| 10/09/2018 | 42 Comments

Cayman News Service(CNS): Children in the Cayman Islands could be given free health insurance in the future, as Health Minister Dwayne Seymour has said he is looking into how all local kids can get access to the care they need. In a speech in the Legislative Assembly last week about the work his ministry has been doing over the last few months, including issues relating to health cover for children and the elderly, Seymour gave no details of how he envisioned providing free healthcare for kids and made no mention of any plans for a national system, but he said it was a burden for many parents to provide the mandatory cover.

Seymour said that he had given instructions to his ministry to work on the possibility of offering free healthcare to all children in the Cayman Islands.

“Families are burdened with the additional cost,” he said, noting that it was a mandatory requirement.  “We as a government have been sent here to look at ways and means that we can come up with to ease the burden on the people of this country and we have a responsibility to do so,” the minister said, but gave no other details.

Seymour raised the issue about healthcare for kids in his first speech to the LA as health minister during last November’s budget debate, when he said he did not understand why children do not have free healthcare and described it as a “vexing issue”.

During his address at the special LA session in Cayman Brac on Friday, he said that progress had been made on a specialist health plan targeting the 4,000 people aged 65 and over and their specific needs.

He said that the government received almost 900 responses to the survey circulated during the public consultation on creating a basic health plan geared towards the needs of seniors, and the information would help inform the proposal. Seymour said the ministry had been in talks with an actuarial firm to help come up with the specialised plan, and the consultants would be returning later this year.

At that point, he said, he expects that an interim report will be ready for review about the appropriate benefits that could be offered for seniors and for the experts to help shape the potential premium rate for those aged 65 and over.

The proposal to carve out a specialist policy for elderly people has its critics, and Opposition Leader Ezzard Miller, in particular, has been pushing for government to examine the possibility of a national or single payer system using the government’s own national insurance provider, CINICO.

Miller has criticised the idea of carving out a pensioners basic health plan, pointing out that the premiums would be sky high and that pulling out any specific group from the wider pool is not going to help tackle the massive problem of healthcare costs and the limited benefits offered in all basic plans. He has said it was “absolutely ridiculous” and “flies in the face of the whole purpose of health insurance”.

See Seymour’s address on CIGTV below:

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Category: Health, health and safety

Comments (42)

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  1. Say it like it is says:

    If in doubt and you have a large number of kids, join the Civil Service.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Cicico is hardly viable with a lot of the children enrolled- carve them out then add them all to the NAU while you are at it. This Minister seems to be in competition with the Minister of education. They both are in the same boat.

  3. The Watcher says:

    So …was the pension fund used to plug the hole in the health insurance deficit?
    The new pension law would “account” for any loss on paper so everything is Rosie and we can have everything free again. Think again. People are “borrowing” their pensions and adding to that ticking time bomb.

    Nothing in these islands is sustainable …from the excessive borrowing at government credit sources to the government loan repayments rolling over the horizon.
    The smartest moved with the pension law, the fast learners will have gone recently.
    The foreclosure figures would be interesting to compare against two years ago.

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  4. Anonymous says:

    Just one question for Minister Dwayne Seymour. What is the HSA’s outstanding debt? Please answer that and let us know if you think free health care is a good idea.

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    • Anonymous says:

      How can you justify children unable to get access to healthcare? It is barbaric that ability to pay should determine when a chikd gets needed medical interventions.

  5. MM says:

    Nothing these days ever comes “free”

  6. Anonymous says:

    Cayman law already provides for free healthcare for all children. The Minister should enforce the law.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Agree. CNS please refer to Section 5 and 10 of Health Services (Fees) Law (2002 Revision) -no fees are to charged by the Health Services Authority for a child of school age unless the child is covered by insurance. Note the way the law is written it covers children of all nationalities…either resident or non resident

      Why is it that the Minister and his Ministry are not aware of this?

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      • Anonymous says:

        Note this is a law rather than a regulation. A law is passed by the LA and civil service is required to enforce it.

      • Anonymous says:

        So I can call up Malorie at BritCay and tell her to take my 6 yr old off of my insurance then? Because as per the law school age children shouldn’t be charged by HSA? I’m going to look into this today…

    • Anonymous says:

      Enforce the law you say. Hell will freeze over first.

  7. Long Memory says:

    What goes around………..
    It is not so long ago that children attending full-time education and from birth to school age did get free health-care. Somehow that was dropped when CINICO was created.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Only an absolute economics moron would think hiring services from someone can be “FREE”. NO!! The real question is WHO’S PAYING!!!!!

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  9. Anonymous says:

    There is no such thing as “free” anything. Someone will pay. With government expenses increasing, this will pave the way for income and property taxes in Cayman. We’re following the blueprint of other countries.

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    • Anonymous says:

      And then this place economics will look like Jamaica’s

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    • Anonymous says:

      Exactly. Someone has to pay, one way or another. So people who think they will get their kids “FREE” healthcare, will get a very rude surprise of what it actually costs when they get their 2% yearly property tax of appraised value. (that’s the current rate in Florida). Soon for follow their 20,30,40% income tax bill (up to 65% in Canada)

      Unless you intend to have pay classes, like only expats pay, or only “rich people pay”. then you will have the wonderful result of Wealth-Exodus (See Venezuela) . Because rich people, don’t allow others to steal their cash. So the MIDDLE-CLASS always ends up paying for the “FREE” stuff.

      And since Cayman has virtually no resources to export, the economical tsunami would be almost instantaneous, and poverty will be created practically overnight as the wealth disappears from this place.

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      • Anonymous says:

        That is the dumbest comment I have ever read.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Your ignorance of Canadian tax law is palpable but why let a prejudice get in the way of fact.

      • The watcher says:

        No tax can be economically viable whilst the population is under 100,00. It would cost more to recover than gain, unless it was above 20 per cent, scaring all existing investors off.
        What you have to look at is the push to increase the population, PR being given and established industrial bases such as hospitals and new towns expanding. Couple this with a drive for independent, economic control … it’s on the radar and will be reached before long.
        Those that went all out for PR will soon realise, if they expecting financial longevity …it may be a shot to one foot.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Let’s first poison babies still in a womb, then offer them free healthcare and fundraisers. Everything is backwards in the”wonderland”.
    You’re complicit in your own demise.

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  11. Anonymous says:

    To you socialism loving morons (and policial opportunists, aka Gas Bags):

    https://www.thedailybeast.com/how-long-do-canadians-wait-for-healthcare

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    • Al Catraz says:

      Yeah, they have to wait so long in Canada that Canadian men have an 80 year life expectancy and Canadian women have 83 years. In the US, they don’t have to wait so long, so men only live 76 years and women 81 years.

      Maybe someday you’ll figure out that the measure of the effectiveness of a health care system is the effect it has on people’s health.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Yeah! Yeah! More b.s. paychobabble from an economics moron. That has no direct link to having socialized medicine. That’s like saying the death rate of 8.7 to 1000 death in CANADA compared to the 5.9 per 1000 in the USA is directly as a result of non socialized healthcare you blistering imbecile.

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  12. Anonymous says:

    I was pleased to see it wasn’t just to Caymanian children. I think this is a great use of tax dollars.

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  13. Don says:

    It is about time for all civil servants and MLA to pay their own health insurance and use that money to help under 18 and over 65 years old.

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  14. Anonymous says:

    One plan for everybody, same coverage for everybody and premium based on your income.
    That is how social animals should behave.
    No private health insurance to make money on people’s misery.

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  15. Anonymous says:

    I didn’t know that a Minister unilaterally can make such a decision unless money comes out of his personal pocket.
    The same goes for Minister of education.

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  16. Anonymous says:

    Or… get rid of this ridiculous system that treats healthcare as a luxury, rather than a right.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Maybe food, water, an apartment and electricity should be a right too. If you will force others (doctors) to serve your health requirements “rights”

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  17. Elvira says:

    All. Hold ten or just special ones born here with special parents, born here, from special parents, born here.

    Remember the adds in the newspapers years ago , caymanian only need apply? Hehe always made me smile that one

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  18. Anonymous says:

    Let’s not encourage the lost generation any more than we already are.

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  19. Anonymous says:

    dwayne….take a break.
    come back to us when you have actually but thought into what you are saying.

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  20. Anonymous says:

    The cost of health care is a burden for all of us. So much so that i will be leaving and spending my retirement funds in another jurisdiction with more affordable health care.

    But i digress…

    “Families are burdened”. I will say it is not families, (couples, married even) that have the biggest issue but the unwed, uneducated child of 17 who is thrust into motherhood for lack of information and access to birth control and a backward mentality on abstinence in this country.

    It will be interesting to see how the new science education system squeezes the birds and the bees between the dinosaurs and Genesis.

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  21. ed says:

    If they are going to carve out children, most of whom have working parents with all or partial health insurance paid for by the employers then they should carve out seniors who has limited funds to pay health insurance. Instead they need to work out this mess that is Cinico where seniors are paying over 500 c.i. Per month with a benefit of 400 per year unless one is hospitalized. Why are they hell-bent on making a bad situation worse?

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  22. Anonymous says:

    Free for all children, not just Caymanians?

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