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Health insurance not fit for purpose

Government 02 Dec, 2021 Follow News

Health insurance not fit for purpose

In his response to the budget speech, Opposition Leader Roy McTaggart said the Opposition felt Cayman’s pensions systems needed to be updated, if not overhauled. As a result, he was pleased to see the government intended to review the system and offered them their full support in bringing forward appropriate changes.

“On the other hand, the health insurance system is, I fear, no longer fit for purpose,” he stated. “The numbers of people, especially the elderly, having to declare themselves medically indigent and the resulting spiralling costs to the public purse alone are enough to demonstrate the failings in the current system.”

Mr McTaggart felt that government believed it has a “ready-made solution” in expanding the role of CINICO.

“Indeed, we started to look at this ourselves and members may recall my stating such,” he said. “CINICO may be part of the answer, but we came to realise that it would need to be part of a well-thought through reform of the system and not a knee-jerk reaction.”

Mr McTaggart felt it was ironic that elsewhere in his speech, the Premier quoted the World Bank's research on the consequences of market imperfections yet seemed willing to ignore the fact that simply giving CINICO a bigger role could serve to further distort and destabilise what was already a “poorly functioning health insurance market”.

Instead, the Progressives’ election manifesto committed a future Progressives Government to a root and branch review looking again at the potential for a national health insurance option alongside the market-based system.

“That review is what we need,” he felt. “I hope the government will listen to what I have said and move forward on both pensions and health insurance reviews as matters of urgency. In taking forward the work that is needed, I also urge them not to carry out the reviews behind closed doors. They must involve the business community and I know the Chamber of Commerce, for example, is already doing work looking at future pension requirements.”

Mr McTaggart also wanted the government to find ways to involve the wider community whose lives would be profoundly affected by any reforms the government did finally bring forward.

“And of course, I trust that they will involve the Opposition members of this House,” he added.

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