N Touch
Tuesday 25 June 2019
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Free HIV testing, treatment for all

File photo: Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh. 
File photo: Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh. PHOTO BY ANIL RAMPERSAD.

HEALTH Minister Terrence Deyalsingh told the Senate the Government provides “free testing and treatment to everybody with HIV and AIDS.”

He was responding in the Senate to a question about HIV healthcare being denied to migrants. The statement was made by Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of the West Indies, St Augustine, Professor Rose-Marie Belle Antoine on Monday.

At a Pan Caribbean Partnership regional forum on Migrants and Mobile Populations, Antoine said undocumented people are being denied access to public healthcare and HIV drugs.

She said there were plans in TT and other Caribbean countries to implement a health card for citizens that would prevent illegal migrants from accessing public healthcare.

Deyalsingh said this was “UNC policy in 2015.” The People’s National Movement, Deyalsingh continued, does not “have a dark soul like the UNC.”

He said the Government reversed the UNC’s policy to introduce a health card because it “barred those people from getting HIV drugs.”

Former health minister Dr Fuad Khan said the former People’s Partnership never denied anyone from getting HIV healthcare. Confirming the health card initiative was scrapped after the September 7, 2015 general election, Khan said the card was designed to help TT citizens and legal immigrants to access health care. He added that if these people did not have health care, they would have to pay for their own treatment.

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