In the latest "you've got to be f--king kidding me" move, the Cayman Islands Government said they are unable to stockpile Tamiflu because it's just too expensive to keep on-hand a drug they may never use.
What does this mean, really? This means that the government honestly doesn't care enough about the people of Cayman to be prepared for the unlikely epidemic that may or may not hit Cayman.
I gotta tell ya, this is absoultely ridiculous. Actually telling your citizenry that you can't be bothered to look after their well-being is proof positive that the Cayman Islands government cares not one bit about the health and welfare of its resdients and visitors.
Let's look at a few other things that are "too expensive" for the government:
3) teacher salaries
4) crime fighting / law enforcement
5) re-vamping a health system that kills people
7) staffing the health centre with a critical-care cardiac team that can perform minimally-invasive life-saving procedures
You would think that the government would get tired of talking out of both sides of their collective mouths, but apparently not. And you would think that initiating basic preventive measures against a potential outbreak of a condition that the HSA is incapable of handling on a mass basis would be a priority.
But there is good news. If a patient presents with flu-like symptoms lab work can be sent off to Trinidad for analysis while the patient languishes in a hospital that may or may not be treating the right condition - with insurance that may or may not provide them adequate financial guaranty for their condition.
This is yet another symptom of a deep-seeded problem with Cayman. The government, at the end of the day, just doesn't care. Why?
Simple. They know if a person is in bad enough shape they can ship them off to the US for care and let the patient and the US government worry about payment. So they don't have to care!
The Cayman Islands does, in fact, have the best healthcare "scheme" in the western hemisphere. They have a majority of the population paying for health care that does little or nothing for them; if the patient gets in trouble the government loans them money after holding homes as security; and at the end of it all the patient receives superior care outside the Cayman Islands and often leaves the US facility or US Medicare system holding the financial bag.
So why should Cayman care enough to stockpile a drug that could possibly stave off an outbreak of swine flu? Because it costs $650,000 and lasts four years.
Simple math tells us that $650,000 divided by 50,000 residents is about $13 per person. Divide that by four (shelf life of this particular med) and you get an average annual total of $3.25 per person. About the cost of a beer.
So, for $3.25 per year (less than $0.30 per month) per person the government could (and should already have) established a funding programme for just this scenario.
But they haven't given a rat's ass to this point so why start now?
And by the way, the US Centres for Disease Control have determined that bleach-soaked mats are not effective against this particular strain. Apparently bleach-soaked mats is a technique best used against mad cow disease.
My question is this: Will there be a coin toss for the 25-30 doses on island at present or have the LA already put their names on them?
The government should be even more ashamed of themselves than usual.