REPORT #161 Jan 2000
NATIONAL HEALTH SCHEME - IS IT PRACTICAL?


Produced by the Belize Development Trust

Minister Coye took off for Canada, to study the Canadian Health Scheme. You can imagine the quality of our leadership, when you note he is going to be there for December, when Canada is going to freeze his butt! Anybody with any sense wouldn't go to Canada until August, or September! ( Joke!) You have to be a mashocist to go to Canada in the middle of winter, for any reason.

We had some amusing comments from a person who has three nationalities on the Belize Culture list. Canadian, USA and Belizean. So there is a lot of experience there in these comments on Belizeans foray into the National Health Program.

One has to question the premises of a National Health Scheme for Belize. If it is anything like the National Fire Service, the National Olympic Sports Committee, or any other of those so- called "NATIONAL" titles that the old colonial capital port town intelligentsia like to bandy about, it is likely to be as National as a cayes Pelican trying to be a Mountain Pine Ridge parrot.

Planners for the Health Scheme forecast a rise in premiums for social security. This is the old European Social Welfare system. A dubious prospect in a country that is 90 % scattered villages in rural areas, in which the population are subsistance self- employed. Or just children. This is one of those towny ideas from the intelligentsia of the old colonial capital that have a lock on the nation's political machinery for their own financial advantage. As our Canadian commentator says - " Gee! You mean it's not going to be FREE! Or do it yourself?".

Who can it serve but the old colonial port town population? You are still going to have to fix your own snake bites in the villages with a bush doctor.

Then our commentator mentions that Canadians now pay 53% income tax, or heavily taxed beer, or exorbitant prices for gasoline taxes to pay for all these grandoise industrialized country type welfare schemes. These things are mismatched to a pioneer, rural nation of widespread remote 500 rural bush villages and about 11 towns like Belize. Canada also has lots of mineral, natural resources, industrial might and oil wealth to pay for social welfare schemes. They also have more need, due to lousy harsh weather, six months a year. I remember families with children living in tents in freezing blizzards in British Columbia, covered by six or seven feet of snow. Did it myself, it was no joke! Which is why I moved to the tropical Caribbean. You can always sleep in a dory under a coconut tree anytime of year.

Minister Coye is recommending the scheme, to provide a proper balance. Commentators intrepretation: "Gee! Just hire 1000 more intelligentsia from the old colonial port town of Belize City and put them on government salaries paid for by Foreign Loans and rising national debt .... and still do it wrong!"

Thats what St. Johns College produces, government parasites!

I like this comment! Minister Coye says the Health Scheme will improve local doctors health services. The commentator on the culture list with real life experience, says, "they will just move to the USA, just like Canadian doctors do, soon as they can pass the medical tests and get re-qualified."

Minister Coye says, it will ensure better quality health services for all Belizeans using a National Health Insurance scheme. The commentator responded with: " just read higher taxes and jobs for old colonial capital intelligentsia academic townies."

And of course, "common sense" does not enter into the decision making process at all. Nor district government consensus and veto's on the subject. The commentator says: "they will do it anyway."

Too true, only too true! No logic, no common sense, no choices, no consensus, no discussions, no debate, no district vetos possible.

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