Acting CEO of the BVI Health Services Authority (BVIHSA), Dr June Samuel, said members of the BVI community need to be more vocal about their needs in their efforts to reach public officials.
“I think right now in the BVI where we’re at, we have to, as a community, become empowered to ask for the things that are necessary and some of the things that are within our rights as citizens,” Dr Samuel said while appearing on the Talking Points radio show recently.
The CEO was at the time addressing concerns persons have had with how the National Health Insurance (NHI) is run and the level of frustration associated with the scheme.
Dr Samuel expressed that a reset was needed at the BVIHSA and said an assessment needs to be conducted.
She also said persons among the population who have good advocacy and organisational skills have to help others to understand what this looks like.
Those among the population that are in leadership positions, Dr Samuel argued, are primarily there to give direction and to try to steer the proverbial ship in the right direction.
“In my current role, my responsibility is to give the input, to advocate at my level and to represent with the [BVIHSA] Board, because the Board is really responsible for the mandate of the organisation,” Dr Samuel said.
“So, you know, we have to represent well to the Ministry of Health and NHI where we think it needs to go. So that’s our role,” she added.
At the end of the day, Dr Samuel opined, there are policymakers on one side of the divide, and on the other side are community members.
Dr Samuel also drew reference to the current public meetings about the Commission of Inquiry
) report and the resulting framework agreement between the United Kingdom and the government of the BVI.
According to Dr Samuel, public meetings such as those being conducted now should be the norm and not the exception to the rule.
“We should be doing public meetings all the time, engaging your public,” Dr Samuel said. She continued: “We as a public, voting public, we also have to be willing to speak up.”