Basseterre, St. Kitts, November 20, 2018 (SKNIS): Town Hall Consultations are mainly being used by the St. Kitts and Nevis National Commission for Universal Health Care to engage with residents and citizens across the federation. However, Chairperson of the National Commission, Azilla Clarke, says the Commission’s outreach is far more in depth.

Ms. Clarke explained that the Commission is partnering with entities by establishing a presence in high-traffic areas, such as the Independence Square, so that they can interact with the general public via exhibits and information sessions.

This was evident last Friday (November 16, 2018) when the Ministry of Trade launched the Small Business Development Centre and hosted a Business Expo at Independence Square. Members of the National Commission used the opportunity to engage with passers-by, as well as conduct a short survey.

Persons who prefer face-to-face engagements can also visit the National Commission’s Secretariat at Port Zante. The Secretariat is located in the space that once housed the St. Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla National Bank’s Card Centre.

Ms. Clarke said that people are welcome to drop in at any time on weekdays to speak with staff from 8 am to 4 pm. The public can also call 466-9697 to share information or cite concerns. Emails can be sent to nationalcommissionskn@gmail.com.

The Committee has also taken the message to the radio airwaves. Tomorrow, at 9 am, (Wednesday, November 21) Committee members will appear on “The People’s Voice” radio programme on Sugar City 90.3 FM. Later in the night, at 8 pm, they will be featured on VON Radio’s “On the Mark” programme.

Social media also plays a big part in the public engagement strategy, allowing for contributions from a younger audience, as well as persons in the Diaspora.

“We do know that [the people of] St. Kitts and Nevis are quite tech savvy, and persons may feel a bit more comfortable asking a particular question via that medium than coming to a town hall and standing up and asking a question,” Ms. Clarke stated, noting that the Commission has a Facebook Page. The page is located @SKNNUHC.

The Committee is considering other ways to extend its reach. One suggestion is to conduct surveys in various communities just prior to Town Hall Consultations held there.

Town Hall Consultations in Nevis begin tonight (Tuesday, November 20) with a meeting at the Bath Village Basketball Court. The next day, Wednesday, a consultation will be held at the St. Paul’s Primary School in St. Kitts then, on Thursday, one will be held at the St. Paul’s Anglican Church in Nevis. All consultations start at 7 pm.

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