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Government of the Bahamas

02/07/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 02/07/2020 20:13

Campbell, Rolle, conclude four-day visit to southern Bahamas with commitment to forge closer bond in delivery of service

CABBAGE HILL, Crooked Island - Minister of Social Services and Urban Development, the Hon. Frankie A. Campbell, and Minister for the Public Service and National Insurance, the Hon. Brensil A. Rolle, concluded a four-day visit to Acklins, Crooked Island and Long Cay with a commitment to forge an even closer bond between the two entities for the greater benefit of the Bahamian people at-large, and those residing in the country's far-flung islands in particular.

It's a measure of social assistance and social security coming together to work hand-in-hand for the benefit of clients throughout the Commonwealth.

Minister Campbell also announced that the two Ministers and their ministries will continue their work to ensure equity, equality and accessibility for the community of persons with disabilities. Minister Campbell said the collaboration will also address any gaps related to the benefits/assistance provided to persons with disabilities.

The march towards equity, equality and accessibility will include ensuring that buildings housing National Insurance, Social Services, Public Service and Urban Renewal Centres, are accessible for all, especially the elderly and the community of persons with disabilities.

'We discussed how our two Directors can get together and determine how we can better assist persons with disabilities because there are some gaps and some persons are falling through the cracks and so we are going to fix that,' Minister Campbell told residents attending a Town Hall Meeting in Cabbage Hill.

'But in addition to that, we are also going to work together to ensure that our buildings are wheelchair accessible and disability-friendly. As a community of persons without disabilities, as a community of elected officials, we have a responsibility to ensure that there is access and inclusion for all of our persons with disabilities,' Minister Campbell added.

Officials at both ministries have already been collaborating on a number of matters - among them gender equity and equality. The newest collaboration is expected to close any gaps in the delivery of services - perceived or otherwise - by firstly identifying those gaps and then fixing them. The collaboration will also be extended to include referrals from both sides in a further effort to enhance delivery of services.

The two Ministers were in Acklins, Crooked Island and Long Cay from Wednesday, January 29 to Saturday, February 1 where they spent the four days apprising residents of the roles their Ministries, Departments and/or Divisions play in the delivery of social assistance and national insurance benefits; what the assistance, benefits, and programmes entail, and how they can more readily access the assistance/programmes/benefits. Acklins, Crooked Island and Long Cay are among the southern-most islands that comprise the Bahamian archipelago.

Accompanied by senior officials from the Department of Social Services, the Urban Renewal Commission, the Ministry for the Public Service and the National Insurance Board, the two Ministers completed a whirlwind tour that included visits to six schools, separate Town Meetings in Acklins and Crooked Island, and assessment of government and other buildings housing staff of the two Ministries.

'Our job here was to bring some sort of enlightenment as to what the roles of our Ministries and Departments are; what services they offer and how the residents can access those services,' Minister Campbell said.

'I always value those occasions when I can leave New Providence and sit with those citizens who reside in the Family Islands in order to make them aware of what we do and how we can assist them during their time of need. These personal visits further provide an opportunity to hear, first-hand, from our clients of any challenges and to get any recommendations or suggestions from them as clients, as to how best we can improve the delivery of service - which is a core function for us,' Minister Campbell added.

Minister for the Pubic Service and National Insurance, the Hon. Brensil A. Rolle, addressing residents attending a Town Hall Meeting at the Ezekiel Thompson Hall, Cabbage Hill, Crooked Island, during his recent visit to Acklins, Crooked Island and Long Cay. Minister of Social Services and Urban Development, the Hon. Frankie A. Campbell, also addressed the Town Hall Meeting. (BIS Photo/Matt Maura)

Mrs. Rhonda Thurston-Ingraham, Assistant Director-Core Operations, the National Insurance Board chats with a resident of Crooked Island following the Town Hall Meeting held at the Ezekiel Thompson Hall in Cabbage Hill, Crooked Island. (BIS Photo/Matt Maura)