In a letter to you a year ago, I singled out Duane Sands as the worst of the current crop of ministers and stated that (against some seriously vigorous competition) he stood out as a disaster waiting to happen.
Last week, it happened.
In the year since my letter, the minister whose chief aim in coming to office was to stop, review and cancel National Health Insurance (NHI), has racked up some dubious achievements.
He approved a $1.8 million contract to a person who alleged she paid bribes to a former minister; managed to incur the strong rebuke of the magistrate in that case over his interaction with the principal witness and provoked the fury of both unions representing medical professionals.
But for sheer arrogant overreach, nothing compares to his admission last week of having issued an off-the-cuff permission for two Bahamas permanent residents to disembark in The Bahamas at a time when hundreds of Bahamians are unable to return and who, when they finally are so able, will be subject to RBDF-enforced quarantine.
That he explains the couple’s special treatment on the grounds that they were accompanying donated medical test kits, actually compounds the outrage in a way that only the most egregiously out-of-touch individual would not have anticipated.
Is the minister outright admitting to special treatment of those with the means to bear gifts? Surely he cannot be suggesting that the donors of this medical equipment are required to be present for its operation.
All in all, his explanation gives the impression of a country for sale to the highest bidder, even when the price is the health security of its entire population. It exemplifies the FNM’s penchant for serving the interests of the few at the expense of the many, a theme reflected in most of their policy initiatives.
It is widely rumored that Duane Sands is the special interests’ choice for FNM party leader. If so, then last week’s disgraceful shenanigans are a good example of why.
— Andrew Allen