JIS News

Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Dr. Patrick Allen, has said that the Government would continue its social programmes during the 2009/10 financial year, despite the challenges of the global economic crisis.
Dr. Allen, who was delivering his first Throne Speech as Governor-General at Gordon House today (April 7), said the needs of the poor and vulnerable could not be ignored, even as the Government moved to contain immediate expectations and suppress demand for increased expenditure.
“We cannot afford to have the gains in reducing poverty reversed. The social safety net, particularly as it impacts on nutrition levels, children and the elderly, must be strengthened, especially at this time,” he stated.
Turning to the decision to abolish user fees in hospitals and health centres, Dr. Allen indicated that the policy would be reinforced and more resources provided to increase the availability of drugs.
He noted that the policy has not been without its challenges, but argued that “the increased demand for public health treatment as a result of the policy reflects the significant number of people, who would have been deprived of these services.”
Similarly, he disclosed that the Government would continue its no-tuition policy at the secondary school level and would be expanding the Programme for Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH) and strengthening other initiatives, to assist the poor and those at risk.
The Governor-General also highlighted gains made under the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) last year, which he informed, was spent on a wide range of social and economic programmes, in all 60 constituencies.
The programme, he said, has impacted significantly, the quality of life of citizens, especially in rural areas, and would continue in the 2009/2010 fiscal year.

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