Health minister getting terrible advice, says Miller

| 15/11/2019 | 56 Comments
Cayman News Service
North Side MLA Ezzard Miller makes his contribution to the 2020/21 Budget debate

(CNS): The independent MLA for North Side, Ezzard Miller, said during the budget debate Thursday that the health minister is getting terrible advice from senior officials in his ministry. The former opposition leader raised a catalogue of problems with healthcare provision in the Eastern Districts and urged the minister to get better advice and change his approach. Miller said there is currently very little healthcare in his constituency and none at all for the elderly.

Always ready to offer alternative solutions to government for the things he criticises, Miller’s contribution to the 2020/21 Budget was no different. In particular, he urged Health Minister Dwayne Seymour to rethink the idea of rebuilding a mini-hospital in Bodden Town, saying it was medical staff and services the Eastern Districts needed, not a new building.

Miller outlined a number of serious shortcomings with the provision of health services in North Side and East End and raised concerns that, once again, the health minister was going down the wrong road in an effort to address the many problems.

The North Side MLA said that the minister had already wasted public funds on trying to create a SHIC health insurance plan for senior citizens, which Miller had specifically warned was a waste of time. His advice had been ignored but now the ministry had abandoned the idea, after spending tens of thousands of dollars on consultants, having learned that they could not get an affordable premium, just as Miller had predicted.

“You need sensible advice,” Miler declared, as he urged the minister to reconsider what he warned would be another wrong move over the mini-hospital. He said it would cost much more money that improving provision at the existing clinics in the Eastern Districts. Miller urged the minister to use the money to hire nurses and doctors so the health authority can offer 24/7 services at Bodden Town and open the clinic in North Side for more than two afternoons per week.

Speaking directly to Seymour, Miller said he was worried that there was no one in the health ministry “capable of advising you and you are really getting bad advice”. He added, “It’s services we need Mr Minister… not buildings!”

He urged the ministry to look at providing outpatient and preventative care, as well as in-home care, and not another building people that his elderly constituents in North Side cannot get to.

Miller also raised a number of queries about major projects, urging the ministry to once again explain what had happened during the bidding process for the waste management project and exactly where things were now. He raised concerns that during the contract negotiations the price tag for the project has already increased by more than $35 million from the original tender, and urged government to explain what is happening.

He raised his concerns again about the port project which he has persistently opposed. Miller spoke about a number of technical challenges and questions the cruise piers and their safety that no one seemed to be able to answer. “My concern with the port is that we are not getting the full story,” he said.

He also challenged government’s fundamental position that the cargo project will cut shipping costs. Following a recent conversation with a prominent member of the container shipping industry here, he said the premier needed to talk with the sector because they had no intention of cutting any costs, no matter how big the port becomes.

Miller warned that if government was promising the public a cut in prices because of an expanded port, it was going to have to be government’s own list of fees that were cut because the shippers were not cutting costs. He warned that there was no case where bigger ships have ever led to lower costs and warned government that it was not going to be able to fulfill the promise of cutting the cost of living with a larger cargo dock.

In his near two hour debate Miller offered his support to the government for the constitutional changes and urged all MLAs to educate their constituents on the benefits of the changes. He also stood firm on his support for introducing civil unions, even though such support could see him lose his seat. Miller urged the churches to find some tolerance so the Legislative Assembly and not the UK could control the legislation.

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Category: Government Finance, Health, health and safety, Politics

Comments (56)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Miller I am sorry but you are wasting your time trying to educate Dwayne. He is an arrogant idiot completely out of his league. Too bad you are the only one in gov with smarts and integrity.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Wonder who Dwayne is gonna blame now since Jennifer Ahearn is gone? Who will he point the finger at now? If the Minister is not the problem then who is?

  3. Anonymous says:

    Oh please! 1. This is just Ezzard taking yet another opportunity to personally attack civil servants. Something he loves to do being the coward he is. 2. Everybody with any sense in their heads knows that dwayne Seymour isn’t taking advice from anyone and always making decisions based on what he feels.

  4. Anonymous says:

    dwayne seymour..perfect example of why status holders should be allowed to run for election

  5. Anonymous says:

    This whole “news” thing is rather moot.
    We expend so much energy on politics, entertainment, sport and business and at the end of the day, we will all stand before God to give account of ourselves.

    I simply do not understand this culture of ignorance although once, a long time ago, I was its greatest adherent.

    Sorry everyone, I took the red pill. This is not what it is all about.
    There are very deep meanings and responsibilities that come with our lives.
    I wish the best to everyone.
    I’m out.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I am not against either of the two partys and like them both but Ezzard does have a lot of experience in the running of a hospital. We need to put the politicking down and work for the betterment of this Country. Both Ezzard and our good old experienced Mervyn Connolly was very good at the Hospital. In fact when Mervyn was there there was always a Dr on call. To make an improvement at the hospital the first thing that has to be done is to employ staff and office workers from all over. We are not to have so many from one Country. Another good idea is for Mr Dwayne to make Dr Sean Teeling the head of the hospital as the entire public speaks highly of him. Ever watched him in a crisis situation at the hospital? He is so calm while taking care of the problem in a very professional manner. God bless this man.

    • Anonymous says:

      Your memory is letting you down. EM “ran” the redevelopment of GT hospital so badly that when he was replaced in the ensuing election all his plans were scrapped and we had to start over with a clean slate.

      And he was “running” the hospital on the basis of what qualification? That he had once been a pharmacist. And is he even qualified at that? Not sure.

      Mind you, I’m not sure the present incumbent can boast even that meager distinction.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Dwayne Seymour and thinking…. Isn’t that an oxymoron 🤔🤔🤔🤔

  8. Anonymous says:

    Heath insurance companies make 55 million nett profit each year in cayman.
    Money is therefor not the issue. It is there for the government to take it.

    Governmental public healthcare for all with premiums based on income.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Ezzard should know! Under his Ministership, we made more advances in health care than any other Government – AIDS awareness and prevention measures, introduction of mandatory health insurance, smoking ban in public buildings and many more advancements. Today we would have been in a much better position with the health insurance debacle if his detractors hadn’t voted against his proposals. “Experts” like McKeeva Bush!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Well said..finally someone who knows what they’re saying!! The Johnny-come-latelies don’t know and then there’s the others who simply forgot or never liked Mr. Ezzard in the first place. God bless us Caymanians and Mr. Miller. I pray Dwayne listens and act accordingly, for the benefit of our ppl!!

  10. Anonymous says:

    Why is it that politicians only seem to have honest opinions when they are not in power?

  11. B. Smith says:

    What about getting the authority to use the world class facility in East End that is already built….too many people out East have to take a ambulance all the way to George Town when they are closer to Shetty…I guess that would not get any one votes!

    • Anonymous says:

      Sherry is not supposed to compete for locals. That was the deal. Just “medical tourism.”

      • Anonymous says:

        Again another deal that was poorly negotiated by our current idiots in charge.

      • Anonymous says:

        So amend the deal, expand the scope and take away the concessions. That hospital is now in the black and can afford to compete without the concessions.

    • Anonymous says:

      You can’t force them to take you by voting. Private enterprise. It’s not their fault you have to be driven to GT when seconds count.

      • Anonymous says:

        Actually, their private enterprise hospital isn’t set up for emergencies. It was never intended to be. That’s why when getting the right treatment counts the ambulance takes you to the right hospital (East or West).

  12. Anonymous says:

    If he cared so much about health services, and knows how to fix it. Why didn’t he joint the previous governments in the past when he could have been health minster.
    He could have been health minster twice and he said No !!

    Smoking mirrors
    Ezzard you fooled me twice and got my vote but not again.

  13. Slacker says:

    Until there is at least universal, automatic basic healthcare coverage for all Caymanians, residents and visitors, everything else is putting a band-aid on a broken leg. Also with an ageing population, any new funds should be put into public health and training Nurse Practitioners, who will not only work in clinics (less need for new buildings), but go the residences of the elderly, poor and indigent, for whom going to appointments is challenging.

  14. Elvis says:

    I believe all cinico covered people should pay 100 to 150 per month out of their govt wages for coverage and 50 ci per month for each child. This is draining the country.
    I’m up for it. Where do I sign

  15. Anonymous says:

    I swear if it were up to me, I’d let Ezzard handle all government – he’s the only one in there that talks sense.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Hear hear Mr. Miller. Well said. Wasting money on a mini hospital is ludicrous. They might be able to fix boo boos and such but at the end of the day people will ultimately need to be transferred to / admitted to hospital at GTH. Bill from one facility, transfer by ambulance$$, admits and Bill from GTH$$, oh, and let’s not forget sending them to HCCI for a test or consultation= $$ for ambulance ride and back.
    Maybe just expand the current facilities with space and staff. More home visits for the elderly or bed bound instead of having them be taken to GTH for a 5 minute Dr. follow up visit. Waste of resources…..hello.
    These are just a few examples but spending a bazillion dollars on some half azz Ed mini hospital is a waste. Just look at the last few schools that were built… half built…..doesn’t make the education kids are getting any better.

  17. Anonymous says:

    The CMO in the Ministry of Health is the most qualified CMO in the history of Cayman.

    • Anonymous says:

      got a source for that claim?

      no? thought not.

    • Anonymous says:

      Hence, why he should be consulted and his advice taken into account when he does give it!! This needs to be fixed and it needs to be done now!! Everyone goes to the doctor at some point, some only for a bandaid or a checkup and others for major stuff.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Listening to Ezzard school the current Minister if health was indeed enjoyable, and frustrating. John John is totally out of his league on this one.

    I am afraid, the minister would rather screw up healthcare all together, than take advice from Ezzard.

  19. Right ya so says:

    I am not usually a fan of Ezzard, but he’s really been stepping up lately, and he truly loves Cayman. Hopefully they’ll listen to him.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Its too bad that after the last election Miller did not go along with the proposed formation of a Govt made up of independents and CDP which would have seen him sitting at the head of the Health Ministry.

    • Anonymous says:

      Too much ego was playing out then, neither he nor The member wanted to see each other as Premier so they both picked up their marbles and ran to their corners. That is why!

  21. Anonymous says:

    According to Mr Miller, only he knows what healthcare in Cayman needs. He has been like this for 30 years or more. He’s not all wrong but he’s not all right either and it’s his arrogance that pissed people off and has done so since Dr Hortor. If he were just a more modest accommodating person he would prosper, but, lord Jesus, he is such an off putting person.

    • Anonymous says:

      And that there my friend is the problem..we vote based on personality not on knowledge or skills..

      • Anonymous says:

        Clearly you missed the OP’s points. Let me reiterate them re Mr. Miller
        (a) not always wrong but not always right either
        (b) can’t form a stable opposition much less government (nor lead a stable Ministry)

        See, we do vote based on what we know and the candidates skills. And we know Ezzard’s skills. A good backbencher, a bad Cabinet member

  22. Anonymous says:

    One only has to look up who owns the building where Dwayne Seymour’s constituency office is located to know who is pulling the strings here. Does the Chairman of BAF ring any bells?

    Everything is a set up in Cayman.

    And while I’m at it, again, whose land is the new hospital going on in Bodden Town? I bet money it is the same person that owns the building where his constituency office is located!!

  23. Anonymous says:

    “Mr. Seymour received his education at Bodden Town Primary School, Cayman Islands Middle School and Cayman Islands High School. Recognizing the value of a good education, he excelled in his studies and earned his aviation certification from the UK Department for Transport. He spent 16 years with Cayman Airways and was promoted to Airport Manager, responsible for coordinating eight major airlines and serving numerous international and regional cities.”

    How someone with such credentials was appointed Health Minister post?????? What airport managements experience has to do with it? No wonder your Ministers have no clue what they are doing.

  24. Anonymous says:

    The insurance companies seemingly toss the elderly once they get into that “bad risk” age group, or, they make it so expensive to get coverage, that the elderly can no better do but to cancel their plan membership. They then become dependent on the Government as healthcare indigents.

    Mr. Miller is correct, the existing system is unsustainable, the Government would have been better served investing in a sustainable healthcare programme for the elderly than putting money in a new building facility.

    Not holding my breath that anyone at the Ministry is capable of thinking at a high level, or have the vision necessary to propose or advise the Minister on an appropriate solution.They are all busy keeping their heads low and counting down to the next cost of living adjustment raise.

    • Anonymous says:

      Who needs consultants to know that a health plan with only the elderly is going to be very expensive. The elderly use a whole lot more health care than younger people. It’s just a fact of life. You could probably do a pretty good group plan if everyone here was in it but there will still be about 5,000-10,000 who can’t afford all or part of any kind of plan. For them you can either pay their premium, pay their medical costs directly, or let them die in the street. Medical care costs X amount of money so you can borrow it, tax it, or save it up. There is no magic pill.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Does Dr. Hortor ring any bells?

    • Anonymous says:

      3.51pm Is Dr Hortor advising him? Man that’s some serious stuff since the good Dr has been dead these many decades.

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