Opposition Senator Caswell Franklyn has said the law needs to be changed to make it possible for non-nationals to receive free health care at the QEH like any other resident.
Making his case in the Upper House on Wednesday, Franklyn said he was “bothered” by people living and working legally in Barbados being forced to pay for their healthcare.
“The situation is that a resident and an immigrant, they all do the same thing, they pay the same national insurance, they work and live legally in Barbados. The difference is that at the hospital people who are immigrants have to pay,” he said.
“That is wrong. So we have a lot of people in Barbados who pay taxes, who pay national insurance, sometimes pay more than Barbadians because they are working for more but they do not get the benefits of their taxes, that is wrong and it needs to be fixed. It is unfair,” Franklyn said.
Franklyn agreed that the state-run medical facility was in need of more funding.
However, he complained that there were too many immigrants living in Barbados who were having difficulties paying the cost for health services that Barbadians were enjoying for free at the QEH although they were making the same contributions.
“They should be entitled because they pay taxes like the ordinary Barbadians,” he said.