Retention of No User-Fee Policy a Victory for the Poor - Holness
Opposition Leader Andrew Holness is today claiming victory on behalf of poor and marginalized Jamaicans, many of whom rely solely on the public healthcare system, as Health Minister Fenton Ferguson announced in Parliament on Tuesday that the No User-fee Policy will be maintained.
Mr. Holness said: “The nation is fully aware of the controversy that has surrounded the no user-fee policy. The JLP has had to stand strong and fight to preserve this benefit for the people of Jamaicans, while the PNP has sought to fight against it since its implementation in 2008. In fact, over the last 3 years, the government has starved the health sector of resources and in the 2013/2014 budget actually cut the allocation to health by 4% and then launched a campaign to blame the No User-fee Policy for the failing health service. The health of our people would be far more advanced if the government had immediately acknowledged the benefits and merit of the policy up front and finding the funding to ensure its support, instead of trying undermine its effectiveness, and attribute all challenges confronting the health sector, to its implementation.”
The Opposition Leader continued in closing: “The Opposition is pleased that the PNP has come to finally see the wisdom of the No User-fee policy and the importance of maintaining access to healthcare at the point and time of need. Ordinary Jamaicans, especially the poor, are the main beneficiaries of the system and now they will not have to fear being deprived of a benefit that means so much to them; a benefit that is the difference between life and death in many instances.”