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Gomez denies he will leave the PLP

By NICO SCAVELLA

Tribune Staff Reporter

nscavella@tribunemedia.net

FREE National Movement Leader Dr Hubert Minnis said yesterday that a recent admission from Damian Gomez that he is in the dark on the specifics about National Health Insurance is proof that the Christie administration is “in a state of chaos.”

Dr Minnis said Mr Gomez’s comments raise the question of how many persons in Cabinet know just what NHI will specifically entail.

However, Mr Gomez, who is state minister for legal affairs, yesterday affirmed his allegiance to the governing party.

In a statement released by PLP Chairman Bradley Roberts, Mr Gomez said that despite his reported dissatisfaction with the government’s handling of NHI: “I am no political parasite or opportunist.”

This came a day after FNM Chairman Michael Pintard said the FNM would welcome Mr Gomez into its fold, adding that it is evident the Central and South Eleuthera MP is not happy with the Christie administration.

On Monday, The Nassau Guardian reported that Mr Gomez said he did not know the specific plans for NHI and added that the government’s public relations on the scheme is “horrible” and another “embarrassing moment.”

Speaking with The Tribune yesterday, Dr Minnis said Mr Gomez’s comments show that the Christie administration is “in a state of chaos” and operating in a “dysfunctional and disjointed manner.”

“Government members appear to be confused,” Dr Minnis said. “(Mr Gomez) admits that he is lost on NHI, while Christie and his health minister (Dr Perry Gomez) say the plan has full government backing, and are set to move ahead. One has to wonder from (Mr Gomez’s) comment, whether they communicate at the Cabinet level. And I would hasten to believe that if you were to ask each Cabinet member whether they understand NHI, I would think more than 50 per cent of them do not understand NHI, they are just as confused as the public.”

However in his statement, Mr Gomez touted the PLP as the “only government with the conviction and political will to deliver universal healthcare to the Bahamian people.”

He also lodged his support behind NHI as the “right policy” to “protect and improve the overall health and quality of life for our people.”

Reacting to Mr Pintard saying he is welcome to join the FNM, Mr Gomez said: “…My response is simple and clear: just as my Cabinet and parliamentary colleague (Education Minister Jerome Fitzgerald) is no political prostitute, I am no political parasite or opportunist.”

“My philosophy is aligned with the philosophy, tenets and values of the Progressive Liberal Party,” Mr Gomez continued. “The PLP government has worked long and hard to implement many of the transformational policies that collectively form the modern Bahamas.

“I support (NHI) as the right policy to protect and improve the overall health and quality of life for our people and so does the government...I also support more direct engagement and communication with the Bahamian people on what the government is doing on their behalf in this area and have voiced the same. This is easily corrected.

“So for me it is not an issue of politics as it appears to be with the FNM. NHI is an issue of national development, under-girded by the principles of social justice and equality. The PLP is the only government with the conviction and political will to deliver universal healthcare to the Bahamian people.”

NHI will be phased in over a five-year period, officials have said. The government has allocated $60m for the first phase of NHI.

According to Sanigest Internacional, the government’s Costa Rican consultants on NHI, the scheme could cost up to $633m if implemented as a comprehensive package. On the low end, NHI could cost around $362m.

However, with less than a month before its proposed implementation date, the government has yet to reveal how much NHI will cost and how it plans to pay for the proposed scheme in the long-term.

There are also concerns that the current healthcare system is not yet ready to meet the government’s self imposed implementation date of January 1, concerns that have been documented in a May 2015 report on key NHI plan elements by PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Despite these concerns, Deputy Prime Minister Philip “Brave” Davis has said that the government is not discussing delaying the rollout of NHI.

Comments

cmiller 8 years, 2 months ago

Who the hell cares where he goes????

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sheeprunner12 8 years, 2 months ago

...... but he has "checked out"............... like Renward described himself

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ThisIsOurs 8 years, 2 months ago

"Today", he forgot to add he wouldn't leave "today"

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birdiestrachan 8 years, 2 months ago

I believe it was Dr: Minnis who said he had two more PLPs who planed on joining the FNM. Is it Mr: Gomez and Dr: Major. they have both been talking a lot to Papa's baby girl in the news media. I will tell them the truth. It will be like jumping out of the pot into the fire. They will be going no place fast.

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ThisIsOurs 8 years, 2 months ago

Hmmm..kinda like the pot they're cooking in now...

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Emac 8 years, 2 months ago

You know what? I am getting sick of this Pintard man opening his gullet and not making any sense. Why on God's earth the FNM is inviting ANYONE from the PLP to join their party is beyond me. Geeze! There are many young, bright minded professionals out there who can do a far better job than these washed up, contaminated politicians. Please reach out to Bahamians who really care about Bahamians first, and not about the perks that come with these positions. Besides, Damien Gomez is not sincere about the welfare of the Bahamas. The FNM seems desperate in their quest to win the next election by simply pandering to the PLP dissidents. BAHAMIAN PEOPLE DO NOT WANT ANY PLP DAMAGED GOODS! But whatever: I think Pintard is the worst chairman that the FNM has ever had. He believes that he has the answers, but he is just as lost as the rest of his inept colleagues.

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Cobalt 8 years, 2 months ago

Lol. True indeed.

What's really going on is that FNM is simply playing politics. Notice that they have yet to table any solutions to our most pressing issues. This is simply because they have no practical solutions.

Their main objective has nothing to do with improving the quality of life for everyday Bahamians. Instead, their only concern is to win the government. And the best way to go about doing this is to concentrate all their efforts on undermining and destroying the public impression of the PLP.

Notice how the FNM and PLP do nothing more that point the finger back and forth while nothing of substance is ever accomplished? Yet all of them live in the nicest of beachfront homes, and reap the best of what the country has to offer. These tactics are typical, outdated strategies used in the political arena to deceive the electorate and propel the party that uses them most effectively into office. For a better understanding, all Bahamians need to read the book "The Art of War."

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EasternGate 8 years, 2 months ago

He is a Gomez. I don't give a shit where he goes, as long as it is not to the FNM

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DMoe 8 years, 2 months ago

Why would the FNM want Gomez, he has no value, did not distinguish himself as a MP /Minister. Let him stay where he is, wallowing in the mire that is the PLP.

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Nooooooooo 8 years, 2 months ago

This is why Mr. Pintard you never jump the GUn!!!!!!!!!!

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