I am hearing more and more personal accounts from people in distressed circumstances meeting brick walls in accessing the social safety net of our country; persons who have catastrophic illness facing barriers in the public health system and who are being turned away because they do not have the money; stories of people being taken off social assistance who are living in crisis situations.
While I understand the constraints of public finances, this must be a question of priorities.
It was never intended from January 10, 1967 that suffering humans would have doors shut in their faces in the midst of their desperation.
This is not who we are as a people. It has always been the position of these institutions, so far as is possible, that the weakest amongst us would not fall between the cracks in accessing assistance.
The minister of health and the minister of social services must confirm this government’s commitment to this age-old policy position and if not, disclose to the Bahamian people a departure from established policy.
Otherwise they must immediately review the practices, procedures and policies that are marginalizing the weakest and most vulnerable amongst us and immediately redress shortcomings and failings.
This is the test of true governance.
“Our task is not done until we have wiped every tear from every eye,” – A.D. Hanna.
– Glenys Hanna-Martin