Something has got to change when it comes to doling out free medical care to civil servants.
As it stands now, Government is paying medical insurance not only for its workers, but also for their spouses and children.
And unlike most private sector businesses where employees have to pay a portion of their health insurance, civil servants dish out nothing. Nada. Nil.
That may have been OK, say 25 years ago when the Civil Service wasn’t so large and the cost of living wasn’t so high.
But today, with 3,600 or so civil servants living off the Government’s dime, the expectation that health insurance can continue to be free is ridiculous.
At the least civil servants should have to do what their private sector counterparts do – help shoulder some of the financial burden.
Those charged with overseeing the Health Services Authority and others spoke at a health forum last week highlighting the need for change in free health care and a sense of entitlement pervasive throughout the Civil Service.
But it’s a culture that has been created over time and turning the tide will be difficult, but not impossible.
There are things that Government can do to decrease the cost of providing health care to civil servants starting by eliminating the third party that is used to source overseas hospitals for civil servants who cannot – or will not – get the medical attention needed here on Grand Cayman.
Civil servants can also do their part by living healthier lifestyles, but after listening to discussions at the forum, it would seem they need some kind of incentive to live healthier lives.
Too many people depend on the healthcare system in the Cayman Islands for it to become bankrupted by providing free health care.
Civil Service Association President James Watler has said civil servants will step up to the plate to discuss viable options to help bring healthcare costs down. It’s time for someone to set up a meeting and for civil servants to go in with an attitude of willingness to help.