T&T’s Fuad: Health card to clamp down on non-nationals

(Trinidad Guardian) Health Minister Dr Fuad Khan says the implementation of the National Health Card will clamp down on non-nationals seeking free medical attention at public health institutions. Khan said as far as he knows, the ministry has no policy in place that restricts free healthcare to non-nationals. In the coming weeks, Khan said, Government will roll out the cards, which would generate a policy that would allow medical services to only nationals and some non-nationals who work here.

“They have been coming here (non-nationals) for a long time. It creates an increased utilisation of the healthcare system. So that is why I am putting the health card in place so we could determine who are the beneficiaries for that system. But the emergency system will be a different thing.

We can’t stop that…for people to get emergencies.” Khan said the card would generate its own policy to treat with national and non-nationals. “So if you don’t have a health card you cannot get in.”

Khan’s comments came after the death of 35-year-old Guyanese national Jeetindra Sookram, who was denied medical attention at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex on Thursday because he was not a T&T citizen. Khan said the ministry would also put prices on the cost of medical procedures as well. “If I am going for a national health insurance system, I must be able to cost my procedures. Our people would get it for free. Non-nationals would have to pay for it.”

Khan also advised visitors entering our shores to walk with their insurance. “Maybe we should set up a policy that before you come into the country let us see your medical insurance. Medical insurance is not expensive.”



Join the Conversation

After you comment, click Post. If you're not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

The Comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit/delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity. We moderate ALL comments, so your comment will not be published until it has been reviewed by a moderator.