Saint Lucia’s National Workers Union (NWU) has demanded in a letter to Prime Minister Allen Chastanet that the government move swiftly to establish what the union described as a much needed National Health Programme, that would initially take care of NWU members, organised labour, contributors to the NIC and pensioners.
“The programme could be improved as we go along,” NWU President General, Tyrone Maynard observed in the November 7, 2019 letter to the PM.
Attached to the letter was a resolution on the National Health Care Programme that was voted on and unanimously approved by the union’s Congress of Delegates on Sunday, November 3, 2019.
Maynard noted in the letter to the PM that prior to the congress, the NWU held consultations with branch members.
He recalled that the medical health situation was high on the agenda.
“It is a fact that our health care service is expensive,” the NWU President General observed.
He explained that some trade union members cannot afford to purchase all items on the prescription after meeting the costs for the diagnosis and some of the medications prescribed.
According to the trade union official, in some cases barbecues, donations and other small social events are often organised to assist those in need to meet their medical expenses.
Maynard stated that in the first quarter of this year, meetings were held with the Permanent Secretary and his Ministry of Health team.
“We conveyed our concerns for the government to implement a National Health Care Service that would assist organised labour and members of the National Workers Union,” he wrote.
However the veteran trade unionist observed that the month of November has arrived with little evidence to demonstrate the government’s willingness to move in that direction.
“We hereby demand that your government puts the ‘Latin Lettuce issue’ on the back burner and move swiftly to establish a much needed National Health Programme,” Maynard declared.