Last update: 22-Dec-2013 3:04 am
Sunday, December 22, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Govt orders 60,000 more H1N1 vaccines
Government has ordered an additional 60,000 H1N1 vaccines (swine flu) which are due to arrive over the next few days, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar has said. Speaking at Monday’s People’s Partnership local government campaign meeting at Pepper Sauce Junction, Endeavour, Chaguanas, Persad-Bissessar said she had instructed the Health Minister to increase the 15,000 vaccines currently in stock.
News of at least six cases on confirmed swine flu virus was made public by Health Minister Dr Fuad Khan on Monday and two deaths suspected of being linked to the virus. Speaking about Government’s new health card system, she said that would ensure registration of all patients to monitor their progress and how access to health care was being prioritised. She said the system will begin in pharmacies and drug stores and also extend to doctors’ offices.
Persad-Bissessar said the system would scan all patients’ information which would immediately be available during phase one of the programme and involved patients with chronic diseases, including diabetes. It will also include those seeking dialysis treatment; Government will pay private doctors $900 to facilitate treatment for patients. This facility will be available in the next three to four months.
The PM questioned the whereabouts of Independent Liberal Party (ILP) leader Jack Warner’s “Doctors on Wheels” programme which he promised during the Chaguanas West election. She said a number of promises which were being made to voters by ILP and others could not be kept since such promises could only be done when a party was in government.
Persad-Bissessar and PP’s Dr Roodal Moonilal both pointed out that after the October 21 local government polls the PP would still be the Government since the upcoming election pertained only to corporations and was not a general election.
The PM, who welcomed home “returning” PP members and repeatedly called on others to “come home...our doors are wide open, come back home.” Persad-Bissessar said a wave was building towards the PP again. She noted a large attendance at PP’s San Fernando launch. She said Government’s message was getting through.
She said that those who had come back to the UNC/PP and said they were sorry for leaving in recent months, had nothing to be sorry for. Instead, she said, Government had to apologise for working excessively hard to the point that the line of communication had fallen down. Saying that mistake had cost PP dearly, the PM said those lines were being reopened. “We take the hits and keep on fighting...I’ve been battered, broken and fell down but I keep on fighting,” she added.
Persad-Bissessar heaped scorn on the PNM’s proposed THA model for local government bodies, saying even PNMites have complained about the THA model. She said the ILP’s fortune were “not ripening” and that a vote for ILP was a vote for the PNM, since the ILP will split PP votes:
“What more proof do you need of a (PNM/ILP) conspiracy when PNM leader Keith Rowley has said that ‘the enemy of my enemy is my friend,’ when he was talking about Warner? Every time our votes were divided—whether it was in NAR, ONR, UNC administration and with Team Unity—the PNM has won,” she added. The PM said Warner’s ILP had been exposed as lacking a plan, manifesto and mandate, and was simply fighting to “get back” at the PP.
She said no one man must be allowed to cause PP’s votes to split and return the PNM to office. Calling on members not to give Warner power to “help” the PNM win, she said Warner had clearly planned to form his own party way before he left UNC, since he already had green T-shirts, banners, flags and other party paraphernalia in hand within days of leaving.
The PM said Government’s local government plans included establishment of a local government Public Accounts Committee in the Parliament, standing committees on various issues in corporations and training for local government officials. Transport Minister Stephen Cadiz said the new Licensing Authority would be in train by next September.
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