Thursday, October 18, 2012

Free Airfare for Tobago Patients from PP Government

Dr. Delmon Baker
Minister of Tobago Development
The Minister of Tobago Development, Dr. Delmon Baker made the announcement yesterday that  Cabinet has committed itself to paying the full airfare of Tobagonians who need to travel to Trinidad for specific medical treatment. He was speaking at a post Cabinet media conference at the office of the Prime Minister in St Clair.  

 Currently, patients requiring specialist attention may take 90 days to be seen at the clinics in Tobago. Noting that patients requiring ENT (ear, nose, throat), orthopaedic and other specialist attention sometimes have to come  travel to Trinidad for urgent attention or even for their regular clinic appointments.

The Ministry of Tobago Development had a rebate vote, he said. This allowed such patients to come to the ministry and seek a refund of 75 per cent of their airfare, after they had travelled to Trinidad for medical attention.

However, Cabinet yesterday agreed on the provision of the full advance airfare for such patients as well as the full advance airfare of one accompanying adult. Government through the Ministry of Tobago Development would now pay 100 per cent of both airfares.

This would allow Tobagonians to access medical services much faster and also those who could not afford to travel in the first instance, hopefully within a week of first applying for the facility.

"This is good news for the health care system as a whole in Tobago, it is good news for the patients in Tobago. Because of this decision we are able to have the team (permanent secretary and other members of the financial assistance committee at the Ministry) look the doctor's report, examine whether the patient applied to any other agency, before "quickly" making the decision that the patient needs the urgent medical care and pay for the ticket so the patient can come to Trinidad," he said.

The announcement comes one day after reports that Rahil Hosein, of Tobago, died seven days after being hospitalised waiting for brain surgery.

Government's decision could be an election sweetener, as it prepares for the Tobago House of Assembly election.

1 comment:

  1. Political gimmick like G.A.T.E. All citizens of Trinidad and Tobago will be entitled to free Tertiary education.What has happened now.You have to be resident in Trinidad for three years to qualify for G.A.T.E.
    What kinda chubble is dis?

    ReplyDelete

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