The presentation of the first batch of health insurance cards to local bus drivers is indeed a milestone. The local public transport industry is often characterised as rather chaotic with a lack of discipline, but efforts are clearly being made to change that perception.
The operators never having medical coverage was obviously a major drawback for those involved and their families. Being asked to comply with certain standards to enhance the sector is one thing, having to worry about how to pay for doctors, medicine and even the hospital quite another.
Of course, they will now have to pay a premium to NAGICO, but it will at least buy them some much-needed peace of mind. In addition, there will be much less chance of drivers ignoring signs of illness with all possible consequences simply because they can’t pay for consultations, examinations and/or treatment.
Prevention remains one of the most effective ways to control the cost of health care and affordable yet reliable and comprehensive insurance is obviously a key factor. The more people have coverage, the better. The Daily Herald, for example, was instrumental in getting insurance via then-SVB (now SZV) for street-vendors selling the newspaper part-time, even though they are not in the service of the company and also sell other publications.
The St. Maarten United Bus Drivers Association in any case deserves credit for taking this step on behalf of its members. Hopefully, more will register for their own good and that of the community as a whole.
Source: Daily Herald
The more, the better