Sagicor has been named as the new provider in a letter sent to employees and retirees dated November 16th, 2018.
The plan is to be administered by Global Financial Brokers.
Former employees, dependents, and retirees must feel cheated by this new arrangement since one of the term and condition of their employment was medical care for life. As a result, many of them would not have felt the need for, nor sought separate medical insurance.
After this new plan expires in 24 months many of those who will need it most, like the elderly and retirees, could be without medical insurance since the premiums will be exorbitant due to their age and preexisting medical conditions
There seem to be more questions than answers about this new arrangement.
How was this provider selected?
Will the services covered by this new provider be the same as under Petrotrin’s previous medical plan?
What is the plan for the Augustus Long Hospital and the other healthcare facilities of Petrotrin?
Whilst I recognize that the hospital is an old facility and may not be run in the most efficient and cost-effective manner at the current time, it is possible to restructure so as to increase its efficiency. This will keep and maintain Petrotrin ‘s commitment to its employees and retirees while preventing the existing healthcare staff from losing their jobs.
A well thought out restructuring plan could even realize significant income generation from private patients and corporate clients
In fact, the Augustus Long Hospital underwent some major upgrades in 2013 at a significant cost to Petrotrin. These upgrades included a new operating theatre and a modern High Dependency Unit. This places the hospital in a unique position to provide additional clinical services as well to become a leader in industrial medicine and emergency care for victims of industrial injuries and accidents. Those who work in the industrial belt, from Point Lisas to Point Fortin, can only continue to benefit from this proposed arrangement.
Moreover, the abandonment of the Petrotrin medical facilities will ultimately increase the burden on the public healthcare system, a system some say is on the verge of collapse under this present administration
I, therefore, urge the Minister of Energy and Energy Industries to rethink this strategy and treat the already distressed Petrotrin workers in a more fair and humane manner