Family planning happy with health, education budget allocations

Minister of finance Colm Imbert read the 2021/2022 budget in the Red House on October 4

The Family Planning Association of Trinidad and Tobago (FPATT) has said healthcare stakeholders must work together to improve the quality of healthcare in TT.

In a statement, it said it was pleased with the government’s $6.886 billion allocation to education and $6.395 billion allocation to health in its 2022 budget.

Minister of Finance Colm Imbert presented the budget in the House of October 4.

“The prioritisation of these two key developmental areas is a step in the right direction and leads the way for other stakeholders in the public and private sector to join in and support.”

The statement said FPATT has been instrumental in drawing national attention to sexual and reproductive health, beginning in the late 1950s.

“Our contribution to the health sector continues today and our commitment remains unwavering as we recognise the need to heighten outreach efforts in response to the evolving needs of the population in general and, in particular, as a result of the pandemic.”

It said the covid19 pandemic has highlighted critical gaps in health care infrastructure’s accessibility to vulnerable populations.

“Over the past year, FPATT stepped out of its comfort zone and pivoted some of its traditional approaches to ensure continued access to clinical and other support services.

“Through support from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), we launched our telehealth services which facilitated virtual access to a doctor’s consultation when covid related restrictions on movement or other barriers to physical access hampered a client’s ability to present to a static location.”

It said the European Union-United Nations (EU-UN) Spotlight initiative, the Gender-based Violence (GBV) hotline and psychological support services was launched. It provides services to survivors and those at risk of violence.

It said FPATT also worked with Rose IT to develop a bi-lingual mobile application which provides health and humanitarian information and peer educator support. The app launched on Monday.

“In this fiscal year, among other projects, FPATT will launch a diagnostic clinic at our Oxford Street head office to provide ultrasound, vasectomies and EKGs among other diagnostic services.”

With the ease of restrictions on movement, FPATT will restart its outreach programmes and take services to communities where people feel most comfortable.

“We stand ready to work with all stakeholders in the private and public sector on the development and implementation of policies and programmes geared towards improving the healthcare infrastructure as a whole.”