Minister unsure on extent of health cover problems

| 13/01/2021 | 72 Comments
Cayman News Service
Health Minister Dwayne Seymour at Wednesday’s press briefing

(CNS): Health Minister Dwayne Seymour has said he is not sure if there are many furloughed workers or small business owners in the tourism sector still struggling to pay health insurance premiums, despite claims to the contrary coming from those on the ground. Responding to a CNS question at last week’s press briefing about the stalled Health Insurance Premium Assistance Programme, Seymour said only two companies had raised concerns with the ministry and officials were still trying to establish the level of need.

Troy Leacock, the owner of Crazy Crab and an advocate for the watersports sector, said that he is very certain of the need among owners and workers who are struggling to find the money to pay their insurance cover; some have allowed policies to lapse and are now breaking the law.

He pointed out that they are not contacting government because they fear they will be prosecuted for not paying either their own or their furloughed workers’ premiums. But with no income, compounded by the fact that government is preventing grants from being used to cover either health or operational insurance, those with no work or very limited work or business in the tourism sector need help.

The CI$1,000 stipend is helping some workers but it is not enough to cover what can be very costly family health policies. Leacock said that according to the people he is speaking with, few are getting much help on this issue from the Needs Assessment Unit.

Leacock told CNS that he was shocked by the minister’s response to our question last week. He said he had written to Seymour about what he sees as “a dismal and disgraceful failure” by both the health ministry and the Health Insurance Commission.

As an owner of one of the two companies that has been pressing officials on this, Leacock said he knows only too well that the problem goes far beyond his own troubles and that many companies and individuals no longer have current health insurance cover because of the economic crisis.

Local charities are also reporting that they, too, are receiving numerous requests for help to get cover.

“My own insurer has told me that many policies are in arrears across all insurers,” Leacock said, adding that he had now contacted the Cayman Islands Insurance Association asking them to get members to inform the ministry of the actual policy situation.  

But he said it was really the job of the HIC to notify the ministry of the policies in arrears, so one had to guess at the extent of the problem. “The HIC should have been contacting me every month as my company policy has been in arrears since April,” he said. “Instead I have been contacting HIC begging for a response.”

Leacock challenged Seymour’s claim that no more than two companies were in trouble, even if they are the only ones contacting the minister directly, noting that most are too afraid to reveal their true situation.

He said he is aware of dozens of tourism operators in trouble, and evidence is also emerging from the wider insurance sector that many more employer policies are in arrears to the point where they have lapsed and it is not just confined to the tourism sector.

Nellie Pouchie, the chief officer in the health ministry, told CNS that ministry officials were in discussions with “relevant stakeholders to ascertain the magnitude of the ‘problem’ in order to be able to provide assistance, if necessary. We will be issuing additional information shortly in this regard.”

During the press conference, Seymour stated that it was “amazing” that only one or two people were emailing, and when they put out information to find out more, few people had responded. However, he said it was not off the radar.

“There were some financial challenges in my ministry which is being rectified… but within the next two weeks we should be able to negotiate forward in a more positive manner, at least financially,” the minster said, without explaining what those financial problems were.

See Seymour address the question on CIGTV below:


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Category: Health, Health Insurance

Comments (72)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Folks he nuh worried. He gettin pension day one.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Not having a handle on the position of health insurance for all in Cayman during the pandemic is inexcusable.

  3. Anonymous says:

    And don’t forget the intentional non-submission of “Declaration of Interest” during elections.

    • Anonymous says:

      He did declare his ownership of a security services company, didn’t he ?

    • Anonymous says:

      The “Register of Interests Committee” hasn’t been convened, or updated, since 2013…basically there isn’t one, and no interest in one, as far as anyone in the public, or independent groups evaluating governance can tell:

      http://www.legislativeassembly.ky/portal/page/portal/lglhome/committees/registerofinterestscommittee

      Now that the “Parliamentary Members” are outside the scope of SIBL, as a self-governing politick, there is literally no independent agency overseeing any of their actions, interests, or deep conflicts.

      They are so emboldened by their conflict immunity that they haven’t even been concerned with the optics of not having updated this in 2 full leadership terms. It’s truly appalling.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Aheem!! I wrote unna a lil poem. And I clearly know nothing about my job. I am one of the many big leeches name politician. Milking the government dry for writing poems….

  5. Anonymous says:

    I doubt this man knows very much at all.

  6. Anonymous says:

    This shouldn’t be too surprising seeing that he too ran a company that couldn’t remember to pay what was owed to the employees.

    • Kaya now says:

      Minister Dwayne , what kinda legacy are you leaving with ya last ever term as a high ranking member of government. Ya people eat up ya food at your bling bling parties, they take ya pittance away and laugh at you when ya turn around. Ya better do something fantastic while you still can, because guess wa the Cow Cod man coming fe ya,. He is not going to make silly mistakes this ya time, and he can flick that cow cod like them Eskimo drivers. Watch ya self John John.

  7. Anonymous says:

    what has he accomplished in the last year other than butchering other languages?

  8. Anonymous says:

    Feel sorry for the lady signing. “Um er uh gaypril”

  9. t says:

    breaking news. Minister of health doesn’t know much about anything.

  10. Taura Ebanks says:

    Is anyone truly surprised? Given the inability to professionally conduct himself, read aloud or respond to questions, did anyone truly see Dwayne Seymour as capable of running a Ministry?
    From appearance alone, does he portray good physical, emotional and mental health?

    I fully believe, if in 2017 when he was puppet gifted (PPM/Progressive Controls) the Ministry of Health, anyone could have foreseen a major health crisis, this would NOT have been the human/image they would have chosen as the face to deal with the crisis, while the entire Cayman Islands and surrounding world listened/watched- stunned by his inability to respond beyond donkeys and moons.

    The miserable and childish tears and behavior demonstrated by this male for the world to see, didn’t result in much confidence at any health related knowledge or expertise.

    The closest this man has gotten to “health” was when Dwayne Seymour tried to trick his wife into thinking he was in the hospital the night he went to find her at a Seven Mile Beach hotel, where he believed she was in a room with her lover. On the second day of his Grand Court trial for attempting to pervert the course of justice, the Bodden Town MLA took the stand and admitted that he had cooked up a plan that he had been hit by a car in an effort to tear her away….

    http://archive.caymannewsservice.com/2011/05/10/mla-tried-to-trick-wife-to-lure-her-from-lover/

    • Anonymous says:

      Well said Taura!
      And thanks so much for the link. I thoroughly enjoyed that likkle jaunt down memory lane!

  11. MP Contact info - MIA with a donkey says:

    Hmmm… try publicizing your (Dwayne Seymour’s) contact email and mobile phone numbers along with all the current serving MPs’ contact /direct emails and mobile numbers/ Info. Have some public meetings for the people to attend (not just a press conference) and see what changes.. you might find people would communicate with you if your ears were open and your contact information was easily found/offered…. but I suspect when you like to bully people and silence them…. it’s best for them not to have your info… until you come to them for a vote.

    During the press conference, Seymour stated that it was “amazing” that only one or two people were emailing, and when they put out information to find out more, few people had responded. However, he said it was not off the radar.

  12. Anonymous says:

    How can Dwayne the Brian vote for a severance package for elected officials and then not help truly deserving Caymanians that need help? The look on his face when Wendy asked the question was priceless and totally clueless. Bodden Town put this man out of his misery in May. Dwayne Seymour – Cheese for Brains

    • I can only drive in the right hand lane says:

      A quote from Basil Fawlty

      Swiss Cheese? Hard? No full of holes!

  13. Anonymous says:

    To be fair, the minister is unsure of a lot of things.

    The fact that we tie health care coverage to your employer in this country is insane and our system comes crumbling to its knees when people cease to have employment, the current system only sets to benefit private health insurance companies. We need access to basic health care and tertiary education and I would be more than happy to pay taxes to achieve that.

    • Anonymous says:

      “Free” healthcare isn’t all you’re imagining! I much rather keep my good insurance that is through an employee group plan.

  14. SSM345 says:

    Hey Dwayne, can we have that in Chinese please?

  15. Anonymous says:

    Does he ever know anything? I mean except being able to vaguely paraphrase some bible passages.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Seems to me that this is the time to bring up the topic of having a national health insurance scheme for everyone in Cayman.

  17. Anonymous says:

    And he is the “best” they have. What does that tell you?

  18. Gentle Reminder says:

    He maybe and embarrassment but what does that say and make the others who allow this mind numbing farce to continue like our larger than light despot leader and his sicko greedy deputy how about our extremely religious and pious divine speaker and not to mention our dear Benevolent saint of confusion Governor cloaking and misleading us by pretending all is well in their self made Utopia and paragon of hope for all who can afford it .

  19. Is it Tuesday ? says:

    Dwayne is not sure what day of the week it is.

  20. Anonymous says:

    I’ll concede there’s multiple levels of eloquence here, but singling out Mr Seymour is pretty unfair. Even Governor Roper should be gifted a course in elocution, it pains me attempting to watch any of them.

    • anon says:

      10.49pm How can you compare Seymour with the Governor, that’s like comparing a supermarket cashier with the Premier!.

      • Anonymous says:

        Or the Speaker of the House with a high school dropout gardener.

      • Anonymous says:

        12:01 You truly miss the point. They all sit there and feed us garbage insulting our intelligence. Perhaps one day you will understand.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Minister unsure how to tie his own shoes.

  22. VIF Very Important Foreigner says:

    But Jon Jon you told me this was not happening cause da foreigners are way more important than Caymanians cause we need them to run our economy???? Watchu talking bout Willis

    • Anonymous says:

      “Foreigners” means Jamaicans are more important , because they are his voters and supporters.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Can’t wait for the full moon.

  24. Anonymous says:

    You chose these clowns. Something something choose monkeys choose choose get monkeys.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Poor old John John. Clueless…

    He is the best example of a politician out of touch with the people..

  26. Anonymous says:

    Why is it our leaders can easily find the money to give themselves a CI 30,000.00 severance package but have trouble taking care of those who truly need it? Are the totally clueless?

    • Anonymous says:

      No we are for allowing them to continue to do this to us..

      Wake up people and mark your X in the right spot in May.

      None of these Unity Government bottom feeders should be elected ever again..

      • Anonymous says:

        Who will be running against come May 2021?

        The elections law needs to be updated to include a quorum, a minimum amount of voters for a win to even count. The way it is now, everybody could sit home and boycott voting because theres nobody to vote FOR and these guys will still get in if they are the only one who goes and votes for themselves!!!

  27. ANONYMOUS says:

    He can’t help being useless and incompetent – he was born that way. The people to Blair are the government who made him a cabinet minister

    • Examiner says:

      Suspect this should read “ The people to blame are the government “

      • Anonymous says:

        I don’t think it’s being abusive, unfair or incorrect to state that this man is one of the most unqualified, inappropriate and ridiculous politician I have ever seen in my 40 years, 25 of them living in the uk, and as a close follower of global politics. How is this guy in public office in a British overseas territory that aspires to have a respectable government, it’s an utter disgrace and embarrassment to these islands.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Why don’t Mr. Leacock just make up his mind and throw his hat in the ring come May 2021. He seems to be an honorable person…not just thinking of himself. There will be two seats available for sure.

  29. Anonymous says:

    These are live streams that anyone can watch, he’s an embarrassment to our country and people.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m no fan of JonJon and agree that his intellect and level of education are not adequate to meet the demands of his position. However , I do have a heart and think that the poor man does have some feelings, perhaps let’s cool it with the cruel truisms.

  30. Anonymous says:

    That vacant expression on his face says it all!

  31. Anonymous says:

    he’s terrible

  32. Anonymous says:

    Fire this Muppet!!

  33. Anonymous says:

    “Vote for me, I’m clueless”

  34. Anonymous says:

    …waaayyyy over his head.

  35. Anonymous says:

    Why don’t you look up at the full moon? Maybe the sky fairy will show a sign.

  36. Anonymous says:

    Ahhh – Dwayne “the brain” Seymour.

    Wheres the donkey and cart at these days mate?

  37. Anonymous says:

    another bad day at the office for this clown.
    not really fair to blame the fool…blame the people who put the fool in this position.

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