Mclean calls for national health cover and lottery

| 08/04/2009

(CNS): Former health minister Gilbert McLean, the architect of the Cayman Islands National Insurance Company, has called for that to be the country’s complete national health insurer that everyone contributes to in order to provide a better health care system for the islands as a whole. Speaking to the people of Bodden Town on Saturday night, he also said that it is time to introduce a national lottery and utilise the more than $1 million spent illegally each week for good causes.

 Having lost his seat in the 2005 General Election when running on the UDP ticket, McLean is taking to the campaign trail this time as an independent candidate.vHe has said that the illegal numbers game has been played for years and generates a significant amount of money that could benefit the many instead of the few. He estimated more than $1 million was being spent each week, which was disappearing into a black economy but could be used for education and health care. McLean recognised the controversy and noted that some people would think it
was wrong, but he said it seemed it was wrong to have the money go into the hands of bankers and not the people.

As the former health minister, he said the creation of CNICO was an important achievement but more should be done with it and it needs to be Cayman’s primary health insurance with everyone on island paying in. “If people want a private policy of their own as well, that’s fine, but everyone should be paying into the national insurance policy.” He noted that would create far more money for the government company which cold be funnelled into the hospital.

He also suggested investing some of the million dollars currently invested in numerous Cayman pension schemes here in the jurisdiction instead of sending it overseas where the downturn in the economy has undermined the value of so many people’s investment. Citing the rapid and drastic erosion in the value of people’s pensions which have largely been invested abroad, McLean called for a review of the way in which pension funds are invested. “Up to 50% of our pension funds should be invested in Cayman by way of loans to small businesses, managed through the Cayman Islands Investment Bureau,” he said.

He told Bodden Towners that he agreed with the government’s proposal in the Constitution for a National Security Council to give elected members more say in managing the police and fighting crime but he said there was a need to assess what was happening with the exodus of senior Caymanian officers and find a way to get them back.

McLean also criticised government spending and borrowing and described its management of the economy as reckless. Though he did not say which projects he intended to stop or what areas of public spending he would cut if he was elected, he did say the first order would be to get
government funds in order by assessing the finances and ensuring all government financial statements were audited and up to date.

Given the criticism of the independent candidates from bothparties, McLean noted that the voters should not listen to the party rhetoric and vote for who they wanted. “It’s not true that voting independent is a wasted vote. You have the right to choose,” he said. “But choose wisely. A vote for me is a vote for experience. You need to elect people who understand the real world.”

He said he had been in office before and proved himself and was prepared to go and do it again if the people elected him back.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Category: Election 2009

About the Author ()

Comments (9)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Anonymous says:

    Lottery!  Is this thebest our candidates can come up with?!  Please do not misunderstand me I don’t want to put anyone down, but what I am looking for is some creative thinking that is supportive of our Cayman Culture!!!  As a Christian community, gambling goes against what we should stand for – what just because everyone else is doing it, we must do it too?  NO! 

    I would like to see some of our candidates thinking outside of the box but also thinking on what is in the BEST interest of Cayman!

  2. Anonymous says:


    You have proven yourself as a Leader before. Cayman needs a man with integrity and that is YOU.  We must pray that the people realize this and VOTE for GILBERT MCLEAN.



  3. Anonymous says:

    The implementation of a National Lottery should be a "no brainer". instead we are country strangled by the views of the Church. The USA had this same position (no lotteries) a very long time ago. They sensibly realize that the "Mob" was profiting exponentially from the "numbers racket" (as it was then refered to). But..the greatest realization beheld the law makers – good law abiding citizens was taking there chances without any coercion, or intimidation. There is the single greatest piece of awareness our lawmakers should consider when rethinking (if they do) a National Lottery. GOOD LAW ABIDING CITIZENS INDULGE IN THIS ACTIVITY.  Please stop fattening the pockets of the private individuals that control this activity. The money can be used to benifit all the citizens of the Cayman Islands.

    I myself gamble on the internet, sometimes Las Vegas and…..LOCALLY!!  I think I am a good person (please do not ask the church this question- it should not be for their consideration).



    A concern citizen




    • Anonymous says:

      "The implementation of a National Lottery should be a "no brainer". instead we are country strangled by the views of the Church. The USA had this same position (no lotteries) a very long time ago".

      Since you are confess gambler I understand why you take this position. A lottery is not a ‘no brainer’ unless you mean that it is being pursued by people with no brains. We are not the USA. The relatively small population of Cayman means that it is not viable as a major source of government revenue particularly when you take into account the administrative costs of running it. Our population is approximately 55,000. If we make the generous assumption that 20% of the population will purchase  a $5.00 ticket each week this would gross only $55,000 per week and $2,860,000 per annum from which you must deduct administrative costs. When we have a billion dollar budget this would be a mere drop in the bucket.

      Check out this recent article

  4. Twyla M Vargas says:


    So when Mr Ezzard Miller gets elected, and when Mr Gilbert McLean gets elected they both can work on introducing a National Lottery.  It really does not matter whose idea it was.   We want to see them working together.

    Right now on the Island there is the Sunday Honduras Lottery, Then there is the nightly Belize Lottery,  Every day three times a day is the Jamaican Lottery, There is the Indian Lottery and Philpino Lottery  playing every day.   That is 5 Lotteries playing every day of the week.  So what happen we cant get a piece of the pie too.

    What ever anyone may have to say about Gilbert Mclean, He is a hard worker who knows his job, and have contributed to much in Bodden Town.


  5. Anonymous says:

    Now now Gillie the lottery idea wuz Ezzards. He has taken enough heat 4 it. easy now.

  6. anonymous says:

    Go Gilbert!  I wish I was in BT to support you on the health and lottery.  I am not saying that people should not have their say when it comes to morality, but Cayman is (like Mr. McLean Says) spending a lot of money every week on Honduran, Belize and Jamaican Lotteries.  Sometimes it seems like this is the only way to make a couple of extra dollars.  Sooooooooooo!  why in the world shouldn’t they have a lottery and use certain percentages of it’s proceeds to pay for things like education (Florida has an excellent record in this area – and Caymanians contribute to this as well).


    I am going to talk to my candidates and see what they have to say about this.  Thanks G.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I agree with the national lottery! People are spending their money playing numbers illegally anyway in an unregulated underground system. The government seems to be very good at spending money, but not very good at generating revenue. Other sources of income need to be sought as we are likely to see a drastic decrease in the number of registered companies with the current economic climate and the liquidation of many of the hedge funds. A national lottery is a responsible way of generating money. I have been holding my breath waiting for someone to suggest this.

    It is so hipocritical for a country to ban gambling due to its christian heritage, when the churches themselves are raffling money, tvs, airline tickets etc. What is a raffle other than a guise for gambling. We need to stop some of these antiquated views, and let people’s conscience be their guides. If you are religuous and against gambling, do not participate. If you aren’t, and have no moral reasons why it is offensive to you, them buy your tickets, contribute to your society and get a chance at winning. It’s that simple.

    I don’t think an independent candidate can bring this to fruition, but one of the major parties should take the torch. Thanks Gilbert, too bad I don’t vote in Bodden Town, and too bad you are only one man.

    Good luck though…

    • Anonymous says:

      Gilbert had his chance and instead of making CINICO nationwide he only allowed us to go to the Government Horsepital. He used CINICO to take all the sick people that the private insurers did not want. No wonder we fat Caymanians cant get a morgage to build a house. He only take advice from those people who run the insurance companies, what he expect they going to tell him?

      They fool him now we have to pay the bill.