Eddy Prince and ministry officials address public spat over fire victim

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Molwyn Joseph, minister of health, said that Eddy Prince’s claims that the government did not assist him financially with further care for his son, David, are dishonest. But Prince claimed that he was unaware of government’s intention to provide assistance for medical treatment to his severely burnt son. Minister Joseph made the statement at a press conference yesterday and OBSERVER media subsequently contacted the father of the burnt child for a response.
The conflicting views arose after OBSERVER media tried to seek clarification on the issues behind the public spat that had developed concerning factors relating to the medical care and treatment of Prince’s son. Before referencing the large sums of money that the government has provided to burn victims in the past, the health minister said, “This Ministry of Health has established a firm policy of delivering health care to citizens to establish [it] on the basis that no service should be denied to any citizen because of their inability to finance their health.”
Joseph said that the government paid for the airlifts of Gayan Williams to Guadeloupe and her son, Jayden Prince, to Martinique, for treatment of burns they suffered in the August 2016 blaze that gutted her home. Jayden died two days after his mother. Joseph further questioned Eddy Prince’s motives for setting up a GoFundMe campaign to raise U.S. $5,000 to cover the cost of David’s airfare and accommodations for treatment in the United States (U.S.).
“You would have to think that there is some dramatic change in …government policy for us not to meet a U.S. $5,000 bill that Mr. Prince is saying he has before him and why he has to take a programme to solicit money,” said Joseph. Eddy Prince said that he never appealed to the government for the amount because it was a recent decision he made when he realised that David needed a second surgery in the U.S. “The whole idea of the fundraising was a lastminute decision, because I realised I’m going to need assistance to go up with David for his second surgery,” Prince said. “I cannot depend on my family all alone, especially them having him for almost four months and doing everything.”
Joseph said Prince asked for a letter to assist in getting a visa for David, but explained that he could not write it because an investigation into the matter was still ongoing. Prince explained that, “from that very instance, just to get a letter and he refused…I refused to go back and ask him for anything.” Prince said that both the government and Gayan’s family did not talk to him.
(More in today’s Daily Observer)

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