Public Health, Social Development and Labor
Minister Omar Ottley Delivers on Promise, Provides Clarity on sustainable affordable access to health care act (SAAHA) to unions WICSU and CCSU
Wed Oct 18 2023
In a remarkable display of accountability and transparency, the Honorable Omar Ottley, the Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labor (VSA), fulfilled his commitment on Tuesday by responding to a comprehensive list of 116 questions posed by civil servants represented by their unions just last week. This open and constructive dialogue marks a significant step in implementing the eagerly awaited SAAHA “Ottley Care.”
On Tuesday, Minister Omar Ottley met with the union representatives from the Windward Island Civil Servants Union (WICSU) and submitted via email the answers to the Committee of Civil Servants Union (CCSU). The meeting was convened at the Government Administration Building in Philipsburg. He promised to offer detailed responses to their inquiries and concerns regarding his healthcare reform initiative. This engagement demonstrates the Minister’s dedication to ensuring that SAAHA truly reflects the community’s needs and desires.
Last Thursday, union members had gathered outside the Government Building, and they were warmly received by
Minister Ottley, who emphasized the importance of open communication as the linchpin of effective governance. He assured them that their voices would be heard, emphasizing his commitment to a swift response within the requested five-day timeline.
Minister Ottley mentioned the sad political fact that some individuals who initially supported a universal healthcare plan when they were running for office and failed to deliver are now opposing the same plans during the lead-up to the January 2024 elections and have since changed their stance. He emphasized that his goal is to work in the best interests of the people of St. Maarten and that his direct and inclusive approach sets him apart as a politician. “I do it for the people; it’s about the people,” stated Minister Ottley.
The Minister expressed his satisfaction in comprehensively answering the unions’ questions and concerns. He remains open to future dialogue and clarification as needed. His commitment to continued collaboration highlights his unwavering dedication to a healthcare plan that benefits the community.
Minister Omar Ottley’s willingness to engage in open dialogue and respond promptly to the unions’ queries sets a valuable precedent for transparent and accountable governance. “As St. Maarten moves closer to realizing SAAHA, the foundation of trust and communication established through this process will undoubtedly prove to be an asset in shaping the future of healthcare in the nation,” said Minister Ottley.