Backbencher takes swipe at Patients 1st
The Government must do more to remove barriers to equality, a government backbencher and former trade union leader said yesterday.
Jason Hayward told the Progressive Labour Party’s Founders Day lunch that the island’s healthcare system was among the areas that had to be changed.
Mr Hayward took a swing at Patients 1st, a pressure group against proposed changes to the health insurance system, which he said would be better called “Profits First”.
Mr Hayward said he had campaigned for changes to cut healthcare costs and to get coverage for people who struggled to pay premiums.
He added: “Their voices were missing. Now the ‘Profits First’ group wants to pop up and act like they care?”
Mr Hayward claimed that the campaign group intended to mislead the public to protect the profit margins of the medical profession, but pledged the Government would continue to work to benefit the Bermudian public.
The lunch was held at CedarBridge Academy cafeteria yesterday.
The Pembroke Central MP elected last November and the ruling PLP’s newest representative in the House of Assembly, is the former leader of the Bermuda Public Services Union.
Mr Hayward said the unions and the PLP were natural allies and should work closely together.
He said: “Unions have put themselves on the front line when some of us have not been bold enough to take a stand.
“Let’s capitalise on the relationship, including them as genuine stakeholders. The unions must understand we may differ at times, but our constituents are one in the same.”
Mr Hayward said white privilege is real, and it continues to create visible and invisible barriers that protect the economic power of a minority of Bermudians.
He added: “We must first understand economic prosperity is not a birthright of the white community.”
Mr Hayward said there is a “dire need” to ensure equal access to job opportunities, pay equality and the implementation of a living wage.
He added that the Government must continue to make meaningful progress or it could lose the faith of the public.
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