Published On: Thu, Jan 24th, 2013

Repair law bvz within two months

WILLEMSTAD – After the Parliament has adopted the draft national regulation basic medical insurance (bvz) it will be adjusted within the near future. Minister of Health, Ben Whiteman (PS), promised this during the public meeting in the Parliament yesterday morning. The national health service on Curaçao is like a patient who is bleeding and suffering several traumas. The bleeding must be stopped in order to treat the patient, said Whiteman. The current bvz does not tackle all problems in the health service but due to the precarious financial situation of the country it is necessary to adopt the draft law, according to Whiteman. “We will realize the repair legislation with the same swiftness of approving the bvz.” Within two months the minister wants to present proposals that nullify unforeseen and undesired consequences of the bvz. “Once the bleeding has been stopped the patient can be treated with other means. That is the philosophy of this law”, said Whiteman.

The MAN and PAR had wanted to postpone the public meeting because in their opinion the law is still not ready for discussion. Moreover, the meeting follows shortly after the meeting of the Central Committee in the Parliament last Monday. It was only the night before that the parliamentarians received answers to the questions asked during the meeting. As a result the parliamentarians weren’t given sufficient time to study the answers properly, according to parliamentarian Zita Jesus Leito. Chairman of the Parliament, Mike Franco, gave the members one hour to study the answers after the opening of the public meeting.

According to PAR-parliamentarian Omayra Leeflang, the law is not consistent with the initial viewpoints among which uniformity in the health service, equal access to the medical care and retention of possible improvement of the quality of the medical care. These medical viewpoints have been left out, according to her. In the opinion of Leeflang the law is in the first place an austerity measure. “We shouldn’t even think about introducing this unethical law.”

According to Leeflang, the deficits in the national health service can be covered by increasing the excise on beer, the tax on profits and casino levy. “Let the broad shoulders and those wanting to drink beer defray this.” She further pointed out to the government the squandering with leasing government buildings. For instance, the government pays 7 million guilders for the buildings without entering into a lease. She also criticized the dividend payment of 10 million guilders from Refineria di Kòrsou (RdK) to Institution Study Grant Curaçao (SSC). “The 10 million from RdK to SSC is unlawful. Dividend should go to the general means of the government.”

The parliamentarian wants an attachment placed on the accounts of the former members of the Board of Commissioners of RdK. The corporation law makes it possible to hold commissioners liable. According to Leeflang, they are to refund the 10 million guilders from their own pocket. She also took the opportunity to request government accountants bureau Soab to investigate SSC. In total, Leeflang’s proposals yield 61.5 million guilders, which is still less than the deficits in the health service, but her proposals give the government room to produce a general medical insurance, in other words create a correct scale model.

Marilyn Moises from Pais was satisfied with the answers from the government. “The bleeding must be stopped; it’s important that lives are saved. If we don’t do anything these people (pensioners, (editorial office) will not have insurance in due time. Moises clarified her viewpoint with a mangled quotation from a conference of the late Nydia Ecury: “It isn’t until the calf drowns that the cow cries. We must lock the stable so that the calf can grow.”


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