Minister of National Security, the Hon. Wayne Munroe responded to the Member for St. Barnabas, the Hon. Shanendon Cartwright in the House of Assembly concerning the provision of insurance for the families of law enforcement officers.
While on his feet in the House of Assembly Cartwright said, “persons who are now enlisted are just as concerned about the fact that the new decision, new policy will not come into effect until July. Because how do we say to persons…think about the sacrifice of entering the security branches. That enter the security branches we are not going to protect you and your family.”
Munroe responded to this saying, “when the recruitment exercises begin at the end of this year young people seeking to sign up will be told quite clearly what the benefits that they receive are. And it will be that we will insure you who put your life on the line. As a matter of fact the only change is that with the coming of NHI we will not be covering your family. The member spoke about police officers who entertain trauma, when I took the chair a circumstance was that a police involved in a police involved shooting was returned to duty the next shift. I certainly have given directions that that ought not to happen for mental health reasons. We’ve stepped up the Chaplaincy services across all of the forces. With regard to service man taking something back home to his or her family, insurance would not be the answer to that. What would be the answer to that is liability of the Bahamas government, not only for medical treatment but for damages for pain, suffering and loss of amenity.”
Earlier this month in a press statement the Ministry of National Security announced that effective July 1st, 2023 the private medical insurance paid for by the government will only cover employees. The new policy affects law enforcement officers hired after July 1st. It was also revealed that the majority of the $80 million paid per year for insurance covers non-employees.