Nevis’ Premier – Hon. Joseph Parry
May 21, 2008
Premier of Nevis, the Hon. Joseph Parry gave an address on Tuesday, May 20th at the opening ceremony of the medical clinic sponsored by the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) Mission in collaboration with Friend Ships, a charitable medical organization based in the United States.
“It was in 1984 that TBN came to the shores of Nevis. Many things happened in that year when the Nevis Reformation Party (NRP) brought TBN to the island of Nevis,” stated Premier Parry. He indicated that TBN provided an additional service to the island by bringing the news, various issues and opinions to the people of Nevis. They also provided jobs and it made their mark in Nevisian society.
“The Society needs examples just like we need to reach out to the Caribbean and the rest of the World. Young people have experienced the feeling of disillusionment and they feel cheated. They are feeling a lack of attention from parents and teachers and they are crying out for role models and good examples in our society,” articulated Premier Parry.
The Friend Ships Super Clinics are here on Nevis to provide medical, eye and dental care, free of change from May 20- 24, 2008. Their advance team has set up the mission with government officials and church leaders.
The M.V Hopes, which houses Friend Ships, brought in several “Super Clinics”, which are 20 ft. shipping containers equipped as field clinics. They were moved into place along with large tents, seating, portable toilets and food preparation equipment.
Numerous doctors, nurses and dentists, trained and licensed in the United States, New Zealand and Australia, form part of the medical team. The ship also brought in a 206 Bell Jet Helicopter to support the operations
A five day schedule is established from 9a.m- 5p.m every day, colour coded bracelets (a colour is dedicated to a specific day’s entrance) were given to persons from churches on the island. The clinic can facilitate as many as 300-500 patients a day.
Pastor James Brown of the Wesleyan Holiness Church of Butlers, elated about the operations, exclaimed, “One very good thing about the clinic is that if a patient needs medication or eye wear, the clinic can generously provide the items free of charge!”
Offering brief remarks at the opening ceremony, Premier Parry expressed concerns with the TBN event organizers. He informed the gathering, in no uncertain terms, that he was displeased with the way things were handled.
It was only on Monday night that the Premier found out from a minister of religion that there would be an opening of the health clinic and the Minister of Health was not invited to speak. In addition to that, wristbands, which would gain entrance to the event, were distributed by TBN and some of the churches on the island. Neither the Minister of Health, nor any other minister of government, for that matter, was granted the courtesy of being asked to assist with the distribution; whereas, it has been noted that opposition members were offered the same. As a result, many Nevisians were denied the opportunity to gain access to the medical services being offered.
Premier Parry begged the question, “Are we practicing health or are we practicing politics in this country?” He continued, “What is the advantage of Mark Brantley getting wristbands to give out to the elderly and then the Minister of Health is not given any?”
“What kind of respect is given to the government of Nevis if the Minister of Health who is supposed to be leading Health in this country is not consulted? After all he was consulted and I was consulted early on to help with this health expedition here, said Premier Parry.”
Finally, Premier Parry thanked the organisers for putting together the clinic. He welcomed Friend Ships to Nevis and expressed how grateful he was to have such an excellent team of medical professionals on the island.