Creating a child-friendly nation
April 5, 2021
Bilingual Palm Sunday Mass
April 5, 2021

Access to healthcare is for all

By Darrion M Narine,
Programme Coordinator, CCSJ

We now exist in a society where the quality of health care accessed is directly linked to the amount of money you have in the bank. If we do not see this as being problematic, then we are losing sight of the long-term socioeconomic goals of our society, but more importantly, we may be losing sight of the common good.

Quality health care cannot only be provided to the upper echelons of society but must be balanced in delivery. Our public healthcare systems are under strain, with shortcomings in many areas. This in turn has an adverse effect on the patients who are warded at these hospitals. The waiting period for many emergencies is far beyond what it should be, due to the fact that the systems are not run efficiently.

Compare this to access at a private hospital and their response time, and we realise the distinct difference. Some may say that they have worked hard for their money and they should be able to afford the finer things in life.

However, quality health care is one of those services and realities that should be able to be accessed by all, regardless of class, race, ethnicity, nationality, or religion.

As we continue to navigate through our society, we realise how our own humanity begins to wither away. Many of the people who need quality healthcare are very often the major breadwinners of their households. If they are unable to access quality healthcare, their ability to work and earn may be affected. Gaps will then have to be filled within their family structure.

These gaps are usually filled by their children, and if the child is at school or university, they may be forced to drop out in order to contribute to the family’s financial stability. All these realities impact the overall development of our country.

As we strive toward a more developed society, we have to think of all the implications that reduced access to quality health care can have. It is therefore imperative that we try to increase access wherever we have the ability to do so. During this pandemic, the weaknesses of the healthcare system have come to the forefront. Couple this with the realities of a migrant crisis, and we realise that the established healthcare systems cannot take much more.

As such, it is important that we depend on the charity of the doctors, nurses, and healthcare professionals, to identify and deal with health issues early, before they fester and become a major issue, that would then impact our system even more. As the saying goes, ‘Prevention is better than cure’.

The Catholic Commission for Social Justice (CCSJ) has therefore seen it as our duty to step up and try to become part of the solution. The Commission has begun doing a series of health fairs across the country offering basic health check-ups and screenings to the marginalised within our society.

We have to try to create avenues for as much access as possible to all healthcare services as we try to build the common good.

As a society, we must continue to build a collective consciousness of looking out for our neighbour and loving them. If we have skills and time that we can contribute towards helping others, we should always be willing to share our talents. Let us continue walking the path towards a better Trinidad and Tobago. Reach out today and volunteer with us. You can be part of the solution.