It's time that nationals grow up and take some responsibility for T&T, says Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh.
Deyalsingh was at the time fielding questions from the media when he attended a health and fitness fair hosted by the Couva Point Lisas Chamber of Commerce, on Saturday, at the Chamber's building at Camden Road.
When asked by reporters if the budget review was necessary, he said the lifestyle of government-subsidised freeness may soon be over.
"The budget review is necessary if one is perfectly objective, the price of our main income earners which is oil and gas have declined by about 75 per cent in six months so an adjustment is necessary. We have grown up in T&T believing that everything is free but at the end of the day somebody has to pay for the subsidised water rates, subsidised healthcare."
"Healthcare is free, you can go over there at that Couva health facility and be treated for free but somebody has to pay for it. We cannot go on looking to oil and gas, and looking towards the State to be this paternalistic entity that it once was."
"It is time for the children of the State, which is you and I to grow up and take some responsibility and this is what this adjustment is about, having us as citizens take responsibility for the state of our country and everyone do a little bit to alleviate the hardships that we are going through."
However, Deyalsingh said there are no plans in the pipeline to make citizens pay for healthcare.
He avoided answering a question of what measures would be taken to deal with the thousands of illegal aliens in T&T who put a strain on the local healthcare system.