i. The Director of the SLBMC and the Chairperson of the Board which governs the hospital were invited to address the issue of “waiting time” at the Emergency Room at the SLBMC. The challenge of all emergency rooms is determined by the volume of patients who present themselves for emergency care. More than 40,000 patients present themselves before the SLBMC each year. The research reveals that most are in need of “urgent care”, not “emergency care”; nevertheless, all who show up are treated. The SLBMC is working to increase the number of doctors and nurses in the Emergency Room, in order to reduce the waiting time of patients.
An increase in the number of doctors at the Clinics is also being worked-on, since “urgent care” is dispensed at clinics. The many clinics throughout the country fall under the control of the Chief Medical Officer. Hence, increases in doctors and scheduling changes can be determined by the CMO, and not the Director of the SLBMC, the Cabinet was informed. The proposed changes to the functioning of the clinics will be addressed shortly, the meeting indicated.
ii. The Commissioner of the Inland Revenue Department and his Deputy were invited to Cabinet in order to operationalize the waivers and forgiveness of property taxes announced last week. It was agreed that the waiver of unpaid taxes would apply for the period January 1, 2015, to December 31, 2021. The tax owed for 2022, will be required to be paid. That payment is to be made before March 31, 2023, in order to realize the waiver/forgiveness.
The rules which currently provide for a 10% waiver when the property tax is paid early, continues to govern; and, pensioners continue to enjoy a 50% discount.