In looking beyond the survival of COVID-19, at strategies for socio-economic transformation and resilience, ECCB Governor, Timothy Antoine is proposing that the region first look at some key lessons learned from the pandemic.
Top of the list he says is that our health care systems need significant investment especially at the primary level.
Taking into consideration the extreme expense of National Health Insurance, ECCB Governor Timothy Antoine says upgrades to primary health care is a more realistic and efficient form of health care.
Applauding the initiatives of improved health care overall, the ECCB Governor, however, believes that the pandemic has been more challenging due to the amount of people with pre-existing conditions in the Caribbean.
He highlights that a defence mechanism should be how we lower our risk profile to chronic diseases.
Antoine says it is cheaper to do that than looking at funding hospitals, cancer and dialysis centres,all of which are important and needs resources. If you have one dollar he says,how do you best spend that one dollar.And if you thinking health, your best spend is in primary health care, that’s where you start he says tha’ts where you minimise,that’s where you preempt.
Financial and fiscal buffers for the rainy days is another harsh lesson learnt with the ECCB governor advising individuals, businesses and governments to have reserves for up to six months.
Adapting quickly to digital tools and diversifying our supply chains to share dependence among countries for goods and services are other factors must be considered.
Resilience in terms of domestic food security is another key lesson Governor Antoine notes must be factored in as regional countries plan for future.
He impresses that global cooperation is necessary while also taking climate resilience into major consideration.