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Saturday 15 August, 2020

Deyalsingh: Migrants not being denied HIV/AIDS treatment in T&T

Health Minister Terrance Deyalsingh says the People's National Movement (PNM) is a compassionate Government unlike its predecessor, the United National Congress (UNC).

He made the comment while speaking in the Upper House on Wednesday in response to the urgent question posed to him by Opposition Senator Wade Mark with regards to reports that HIV positive migrants were denied health care in Trinidad and Tobago.

Deyalsingh, addressing the concern, said the Government has made provisions to ensure that all people battling HIV/AIDS receive treatment.

"The article on page 20 of the Express was based on Professor Rose-Marie Belle Antoine’s speech yesterday in which she quoted UNC policy. UNC policy in 2015 was to deny care to migrants with HIV/AIDS… if you read paragraph five of the article. This government, which is a caring Government that does not have a dark soul like the UNC, we do not subscribe to that and I made it abundantly clear and if you read the article, ‘Minister denies migrants being turned away’. So I give this chamber the assurance that we have reversed UNC policy which Professor Antoine based her speech on and we give free testing and treatment to everybody with HIV/AIDS."

The Health Minister also boasted of his many accomplishments during his tenure as a Minister in the Dr Keith Rowley-led regime.

He spoke about his commitment to reducing maternal and infant mortality rates as well as providing free cataract surgeries to members of the public. 

According to Deyalsingh both he and the Government keep their word.

"The same assurance I gave this country when I said we will do cataract surgeries, done! We have done it! So the assurance I give that we are giving HIV drugs free to everybody, it’s the same assurance I gave on maternal mortality, done!; same assurance I gave on bringing down infant mortality rates, done!; the same assurance I gave on doing cataract surgeries for poor people so they don’t have to go to the private sector, done! All of those things have been done because we reversed UNC policy to introduce a health card which was to bar those people from getting HIV drugs."



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