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Use unclaimed money to fund health service

Published:Monday | April 20, 2015 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

I notice that talks are going on between the finance and the industry, investment and commerce ministries regarding the use of unclaimed funds in financial institutions.

I have no objections to using the money to fund micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), but the health service is crying out for improvement and should be given priority in the use of these funds.

Every day, we hear tales of woe about conditions patients and staff endure in the public health service. These range from lack of, or non-functioning, equipment, to unavailability of prescribed drugs, to uncomfortable and sometimes dilapidated facilities. Some of these MSMEs are already being funded by these same financial institutions, plus some can go to the public for funding by offering shares.

MSMEs are businesses that are profit-making ventures for their owners. Many of these owners and their staff may also become users of some of these health facilities at some time.

I would also suggest that these unclaimed monies not be put into general revenue, but be managed by the National Health Fund for the specific purpose of buying equipment and medicine and improving the comfort of health facilities. I am sure the owners of these unclaimed funds would not raise many objections to the funds being used for this purpose were they in a position to do so.

Many sick and needy persons are not in a position to purchase all the required prescribed drugs if they have to resort to private pharmacies to do so when the government pharmacies are out of stock.

Trevor Samuels

President

National Consumers League

natcomle@cwjamaica.com