St.Kitts-Nevis Prime Minister Harris Announces New General Hospital Construction

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LONDON, June 22, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — A new general hospital and a more resilient healthcare system is coming to the Federation of St Kitts and Nevis. During the cabinet swearing in ceremony, Prime Minister Timothy Harris announced about the government’s plans for a new health facility. On June 17th, the new Health Minister Akilah Byron-Nisbett said that the country was prepared for any imported COVID-19 cases when the borders reopen.

St Kitts and Nevis has been COVID-19-free since May 18th, when the last of the 15 cases recovered. According to the government’s latest emergency regulations valid until June 27th, borders remain closed to incoming or transit commercial international travel. Ruling coalition Team Unity pledged to upgrade the country’s health infrastructure over the next five years. This includes building a new state-of-the-art hospital, a permanent quarantine facility, and pathology laboratories; expanding and renovating several existing health centres; and improving access to healthcare at national level.

Speaking about the new modern general hospital, PM Harris said that “this perhaps will be in tribute to the remarkable service we have had in the battle against COVID-19 and the exemplary service of Dr Hazel Laws [Federation’s Chief Medical Officer] and Dr Cameron Wilkinson [Joseph N France General Hospital Medical Chief of Staff].” The Prime Minister announced that the new Health Minister will guide the construction of the new hospital and other healthcare developments.

During her first National Emergency Operations Centre COVID-19 briefing as Health Minister last Wednesday, Ms Byron-Nisbett said the Federation was ready to deal with a possible second wave upon reopening borders. “I am confident that the team will continue to do as they have done in the first wave to ensure that we are able to curtail whatever the impact may be as it relates to COVID-19,” she said.

The Team Unity manifesto cites that, in terms of healthcare, the coalition aims to “build a stronger, more resilient healthcare sector, focused on reducing the impact of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) on our people, providing greater access to top quality healthcare services for our citizens, and safeguarding and surpassing the gains already achieved through caring for our people from conception to natural death.”

To finance advances in healthcare, along with education, tourism, infrastructure and other socio-economic sectors, the government created the Sustainable Growth Fund (SGF). This operates under the country’s renowned Citizenship by Investment (CBI) Programme, established in 1984. By contributing at least US$150,000 to the government fund, foreign investors are taking the fastest and safest route to second citizenship.

If successful – and this is primarily subject to passing due diligence checks – new economic citizens earn the same privileges as natives, except for the right to vote. This includes visa-free and visa-on-arrival travel to almost 160 destinations and the permanent right to live, work and study in the country. They also benefit from all the socio-economic developments that their CBI investment would have contributed to.

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