Government is to spend $12 million a year on citizens who need prosthetics.
The Minister of the People and Social Development, Dr. Glenn Ramadharsingh, made the announcement at Thursday’s Post Cabinet Media Briefing.
He said Cabinet has taken a decision to introduce the Prosthetics Assistance Programme under the Urgent Temporary Assistance Programme, which is administered by his Ministry.
Prosthetics are the design, fabrication and fitting of custom-made artificial body parts.
The Minister outlined what the Grant would cover: “They include braces, inserts, body parts that are missing from birth, lost through injury or disease, which require removal for medical purposes. They can also supplement an existing but defective body part. Some prosthetics include artificial lungs, knees, eyes, hearts, hips, limbs, heart valves, ankles, dentures and gastric bands.”
Dr. Ramadharsingh explained the psychological impact of lost limbs and why monetary help is needed in this area.
“Whenever persons suffer the loss of a limb, their mobility may be challenged. They may even grow bitter and frustrated. This is usually accompanied by low levels of self esteem or apathy. For a person who lost a leg, the choice is either a wheelchair or a prosthetic.”
According to his statistics, over 400 amputations are conducted in this country annually.
Under this initiative, 300 persons each year will benefit from the ‘one-off grant’ of $40,000. However, exceptions can be made.
“At an estimated expenditure of $12 million, the Minister of People and Social Development, on the recommendation of the Director of the Targeted Conditional Cash Transfer Programme, can approve grants for prosthetics in excess of $40,000 but no more than $100,000 in exceptional circumstances.”
The Ministry of the People will be partnering with the Ministry of Health in the execution of this initiative.