Excerpts from Mr. Curtis Bowman’s presentation at the NDP’s Rally:

It is said that ‘your health is your wealth’; however, I can say that healthy people make a wealthy nation. A healthy person leads to a more productive and prosperous nation. The NDP firmly believes that the health of a nation is the wealth of the nation.

Health care of any nation should be: available, accessible, and affordable to every citizen. This is a fundamental right, and the NDP is committed to facilitating the delivery of this right. We wish to create and maintain a protective environment in order to meet the changing needs of our developing nation, in order to ensure that each citizen may always have access to proper health care and consequently achieve a higher quality of life.

Do you believe you are getting proper health care under this ULP government? Are you getting your basic medication and blood test done at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital? Do you think poverty is a just reason why you can’t get the body of your loved ones who die at the hospital?

The health service in this country is deplorable. Can you imagine that you have a government who has failed to provide some of the basic medication needed by sick people across the nation? They have failed in providing all of the right protective gear needed by health professionals to do their jobs. Some surgeries had to be cancelled this week, as it is alleged that the doctors and nurses did not have surgical gowns to do these surgeries. Imagine you or a loved one had to have emergency surgery, and it couldn’t be done for this reason. This is inexcusable!

Look around in the government medical institution. Many of our doctors are leaving; resigning to lecture at the medical colleges; resigning to go work in different countries. Why? They are frustrated with the unavailability of resources and working condition to deliver proper health care.

The NDP will improve the health care in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Our aim is to provide health care for all. The NDP will introduce a back to basic approach in the delivery of health care. We will make health care available, accessible and affordable to every citizen of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

The NDP will:

* Build a new state of the art hospital;

* Reduce the financial burden on individual families through the implementation of a National Health Insurance Programme;

* Ensure that an ambulance is stationed at all rural health districts, and increase the number of working ambulances at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital;

* Train ambulance personnel, therefore reducing the response time for emergencies;

* Improve the testing and diagnostic facilities;

* Ensure that all hospitals and medical clinics are fully staffed, equipped and have basic medical supplies;

* Improve the infective disease unit by implementing strict protocols when handling outbreaks of infectious diseases; ensure all staff members working in the unit are properly trained and provided with the adequate

personal protective equipment (PPE) as recommended by WHO and the CDC. (Center for disease Control);

* Strengthen the environmental health and vector control unit;

* Ensure that doctors are available 24hours at the rural hospitals;

* Increase the number of doctors working in the accident and emergency department, therefore reducing the waiting time for patients;

* Ensure that the hospital has a medical specialist in all areas;

* Expand the programme of health care givers, to include the at risk population such as children and mentally and physically challenged persons;

* Improve the Lewis Punnet Home and the Mental Health Hospital;

* Train adequate numbers of persons in the different disciplines to meet the demands in the health sector;

* Extend the opening hours for the pharmacy at the MCMH to serve outpatients and inpatients more effectively;

* Establish a dialysis unit with trained personnel to take care of our kidney patients;

* Improve the port health facilities, ensuring that there is a quarantine area that is fully equipped with PPE and trained health professionals at all ports of entry.

Excerpts from Mr. Nick Francis’ presentation at the NDP’s Rally:

As the future of this country, we have a responsibility to be the best that we can be. The NDP believes in the supremacy of God and His guiding hand in the development of our youth. Our Spiritual and Social Redemption Charter will strengthen youth development agents to empower our youth to make the right choices, and become productive members of our society.

Young people, tonight our problems cannot be solved by a wink and a smile. We need practical leadership. Later this month, on May 24th, the ULP will be hosting a rally of some sort at the Victoria Park. At that rally, they will boast about an Education Revolution, but they won’t tell you about the 1531 students who have dropped out of school, or the parents who struggle to pay examination fees. They won’t tell you about how much they have reduced the funding for the book loan scheme, or the issues of accreditation which still exist at the Community College. At that rally, they won’t talk about the number of students in Forms 1 and 2 who can’t read or write.

But when the grandstanding and "pompaseting” are over, when the one liners and sound bites have been exhausted, and when the lights fade at Victoria Park, on Monday, May 25th, a single mother will wake up and look into the faces of her hungry children, and she will contemplate selling her body to buy groceries. On that Monday morning, young men will wake up in the hills dreaming of a better way of life. On that Monday morning, a community college student, on the heels of graduating, will wonder, "What next? Where do I go from here? Will I be able to find a meaningful job?” On that Monday, the same issues that we face as youths will still exist.

Young people, tonight Our Vote is ‘Key’ to unlocking a better standard of living for ourselves and our families. The NDP can deliver. Labour isn’t working, and the time for change is now!

© 2016 New Democratic Party (NDP) St. Vincent and the Grenadines. All Rights Reserved.