NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Englerston MP Glenys Hanna-Martin yesterday castigated the government over its handling of social service assistance to vulnerable citizens.
Hanna-Martin called for a review of existing policies in a press statement yesterday.
“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,” said Hanna-Martin.
“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.”
In the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian, Social Services Minister Frankie Campbell indicated that not only has his ministry had to provide assistance to individuals impacted by the storm, it has also had to continue providing assistance to the usual vulnerable Bahamians.
“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,” Hanna-Martin continued.
“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 which are marginalizing the weakest and most vulnerable amongst us and immediately redress shortcomings and failings.
“This is the test of true governance.”