PM should not hold health portfolio long

Dear Editor,

Dr. Duane Sands, MP for Elizabeth, has been obliged to pick up his marbles and demit office as minister of health.

Years ago, I held a brief for he and a few other then candidates. I had high hopes for Dr. Sands but within a year of being elected to Parliament and being appointed to the cabinet, I saw the hand writing on the proverbial wall.

He has proven to be a political disaster.

The Bahamas is still reeling from the effects of Hurricane Dorian which ravaged Abaco and Grand Bahamas in particular. To this very day, almost a year later, there are deceased bodies stored in a trailer in Abaco.

The hurricane season for this year is fast approaching and it is commonly accepted that we are not prepared for the same.

The proposed national health insurance was one of the many unfulfilled planks in the FNM electoral campaign. It is clear that unless a miracle occurs that Bahamians will not be seeing this any time soon.

The economic dislocation caused by the coronavirus and the abrupt shut down of the economy by Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis has resulted in massive unemployment and loss of revenue for many. The economy, to put it mildly, is in shambles and is unlikely to bounce back anytime in the near future.

The PM is regarded by many as a good medical and businessman. He is, however, only human and I fear that he might overtax himself as he takes on the health portfolio.

Is it not possible that he could have simply appointed Senator Mildred Hall-Watson, a medical doctor, with all of the necessary political pedigree?

The outcome of the next general election will depend heavily on two items, in my view: the economy and the delivery of national health insurance.

If Minnis and his regime fail at these, they could kiss the election good bye. The Progressive Liberal Party will be returned to high office as simple as 1 + 1 = 2.

The prime minister should hold on to the post of minister of health for the shortest time possible.

Senator Watson should be appointed minister of health while continuing to serve in the Senate.

Shanedon Cartwright, MP for St. Barnabas, could be appointed minister of state for health and represent that ministry in the House for the duration.

The ball, however, is in the PM’s court — musical chairs or the inevitable implosion of the FNM.

Ortland H. Bodie, Jr.

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