Duke launches self-titled healthcare campaign

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Duke launches self-titled healthcare campaign

In his bid to bridge the gap between public and private healthcare, leader of the Progressive Democratic Patriots (PDP) Watson Duke has launched The Watson Solomon Duke Initiative.

Duke, speaking at the launch at the Hyatt Regency on Sunday, said current options available in the country are not affordable. He said this is because treatment in the private sector is expensive and in the public sector patients can’t afford the wait to receive treatment.

“By this initiative, working with my medical colleagues and several corporations, several businesses, we have decided to ensure that we will cut the time you have to wait and cut the money you have to spend,” Duke said.

“We believe the government is doing all that they can do but we must do what we can at the same time. This is therefore a humanitarian effort and not a political effort,” he said.

This healthcare campaign promises free screening services, discounts with partnering medical facilities and outreaches to even the most remote parts of the country.

“The Watson Solomon Duke Initiative, like Star Trek, is boldly going where none would have gone before. Even in the most remote places, we would go. We do not desire a building. We will operate from a tent,” he said.

Starting as early as this week, patients will be assessed every Saturday at the PDP’s Barataria office in Trinidad and on Wednesdays at the PDP’s Port Mall office in Tobago.

The free service will be done on a first come first served basis by a team of five doctors, ten nurses, and other health professionals. He said they also intend to go into communities to ensure they reach the most vulnerable.

Director of the initiative Kezel Jackson said they have already raised $15 million worth in support for the campaign.

Jackson said: “We can only heal when we move away from the bipartisan politics that often divide our nation. When you are sick do you flash your party card and say well I am UNC, I am PNM or I am PDP? No. On your dying bed, of what value is a political party?.”

“Let us move away from politics. Our aim is not for PDP members, our aim is for any citizen of Trinidad and Tobago that is in need of medical help.”