NASSAU, BAHAMAS- Free National Movement (FNM) Deputy Leader Shanendon Cartwright yesterday reiterated criticisms of government’s decision to amend the medical insurance policy for security branch members, calling the move “shortsighted.”
Speaking on the issue during yesterday’s Parliamentary session Cartwright said, “I still believe it is shortsighted because when members of the Royal Bahamas Police Force, Defence Force and Corrections officers serve, they are not the only ones that serve, their families serve with them.”
He continued, “I would encourage the government to revaluate it it because it’s sending a poor message to the men and women of the uniformed beaches.”
The Ministry of National Security revealed in a statement earlier this month that the government is spending over $80 million a year on private insurance with the majority covering individuals who are not employees. An amendment to the policy which provides medical insurance coverage to dependents of members of the security branches will come into effect July 1.
The Ministry of National Security noted, “Effective 1st July 2023, the policy will only provide medical insurance coverage for employees, while allowing dependent coverage at the employees’ cost. We want to clarify that the new policy will not apply to officers hired prior to 1st July 2023. This decision was made after thorough consideration of the financial implications on the government’s budget.”
National Security Minister Wayne Munroe argued that referring to the decision as a “change” was incorrect as a persons terms of service cannot be unilaterally adjusted.
According to Munroe, persons will have the choice to join the security branches knowing they that only they will be covered but the decision does not affect those currently employed. He also noted that police reservists who work closely with full time officers are also not afforded medical insurance.