Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh – Photo by Ayanna Kinsale
HEALTH Minister Terrence Deyalsingh told Chaguanas East MP Vandana Mohit that she was wrong to claim that large numbers of people in TT are being denied access to health care in the public health system.
He made the statement in response to a motion on the adjournment of the House of Representatives on Wednesday.
In that motion, Mohit claimed that some young people with physical or developmental challenges were having difficulty accessing medical care.
Deyalsingh said, “Let me state from the onset. There is absolutely no barrier to anybody in TT accessing medical care.”
TT adheres to the principles of universal access to health-care services.
Deyalsingh said, “There is no barrier due to physical and development challenges or any other barrier for that matter.”
He added his ministry, in collaboration with other government ministries, adopted an integrated approach to ensuring there was no barrier to medical care in TT.
“In this (TT’s public health care) system, one does not need insurance as other systems.”
Deyalsingh said there has been societal discrimination in how some people view the public health-care system.
“That is something that we have to overcome.”
He identified autism, cerebral palsy and Down syndrome among the many development medical disorders which can be treated in the public health-care system.
Deyalsingh said the ministry recognised that methods used to treat children and young people were different to those used to treat older people.
He regretted that Mohit chose to focus on a small number of people who have had challenges instead of looking at the number of people who had been successfully treated through the public health-care system.
“Some of the services available at our (public) health institutions, free of charge, are child development clinics, pediatric clinics, child guidance clinics, mental health clinics, dental services and medical social workers.”
Deyalsingh advised Mohit, “Do not play politics with a serious emotional issue like this. We can do better than that.”
In closing, he reminded opposition MPs of their absence from President Christine Kangaloo’s inauguration ceremony at the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port of Spain on Monday.
“You (UNC) do not put country first.”