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Police called in @ SSB Office as fight breaks out

As the new deadline approaches for persons to register for National Health Insurance, the tension escalated today January 28, 2016 to the point where ranks of the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force had to be called in to keep the crowd under control. Photo: Team of Reporters
Government in late December 2015 made the decision to extend the application period to January 31, 2016 to accommodate more persons who were not successful in registering for its compulsory health coverage. Photo: VINO/File
Government in late December 2015 made the decision to extend the application period to January 31, 2016 to accommodate more persons who were not successful in registering for its compulsory health coverage. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – As the new deadline approaches for persons to register for National Health Insurance, the tension escalated today January 28, 2016 to the point where ranks of the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force had to be called in at the Joshua S. Smith Building in Road Town to keep the crowd under control.

Government in late December 2015 made the decision to extend the application period to January 31, 2016 to accommodate more persons who were not successful in registering for the Government’s compulsory health coverage.

One Caribbean national who saw the ruckus said that she was ashamed at what she witnessed.

“I just had to call somebody. I could not believe what I was seeing. I know it is coming down to the end of the period but there was no need for that behaviour,” she said.

Information Officer of the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) Diane Drayton confirmed with this news site that Police were summoned to assist with crowd control following the escalation of the ruckus.

One staff member of Social Security Board who did not want to be identified said that the problem started sometime around 8: am. “Some people wanted to get ahead of others who were there before them. Everybody wanted to be processed quickly but it seemed like the staff was overwhelmed by the number of people there,” the officer said.

The officer believes that the location did not provide sufficient space for the large numbers of persons who turn up every day for processing.

Every day persons are turned back once NHI staff gives out a certain amount of tickets. Some have also expressed frustration that they are unable to make queries over the phone. 

"Them not answering the phones now I have to come all the way here just to ask a question," one woman complained.

Efforts to reach Deputy Director of the Social Security Board with responsibility for the NHI, Roy N. Barry and Manager of Beneficiary and Advisory Services in the NHI Division Kishma A. Baronville for a comment on today’s incident and on whether the registration deadline will be further extended proved futile.

35 Responses to “Police called in @ SSB Office as fight breaks out”

  • son of the soil (28/01/2016, 15:05) Like (6) Dislike (50) Reply
    I bet it was those hungry arse, unruly island people?
    • Oh Please!! (28/01/2016, 16:24) Like (38) Dislike (2) Reply
      Where you from...Space?
    • overseas (28/01/2016, 18:56) Like (42) Dislike (1) Reply
      @son of the soil. I am well travelled. I have gone to malls, drove in traffic, arrived at many ports of entries, mingled with the locals and wished at times our people could be that professional and so well behaved. I have seen hunger in some of these countries but you know what? I have seen it here in our country and not only amongst the "islands people". By the way they are an integral part of the. N.H.I. I am glad I have travelled and received an education. I no longer see these people as you I used to. I am just thankful for my geographical location and just for your information when I am overseas I am referred to as a person from the "Island's" I am not offended because Tola is an island....not a continent.
    • Hmmm (29/01/2016, 09:27) Like (5) Dislike (2) Reply
      here aint an Island, right. you Jack**s
    • (29/01/2016, 12:41) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Your very ignorant
  • fnhi (28/01/2016, 15:06) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
  • public cry (28/01/2016, 15:08) Like (42) Dislike (2) Reply
    We need another month or so... Just like how the cruise pier project was given more millions.
  • Mick Mars (28/01/2016, 15:12) Like (29) Dislike (4) Reply
    Poor scared sheeple.
    In all honesty, I don't blame y'all since the month about to done and y'all fearing reprisal akin to the sword of Damocles hanging over y'all heads....but it ain't THAT serious.

    The same manner in which this lopsided scheme was thrusted on y'all ( I didn't vote for these fools) is the same lopsided manner these fools dealing with processing EVERYBODY and it shows. People tired gone there and get all kinda run around, lost documents, deleted files look, them fighting to get under the banner before the month end 'cause nobody ain't want to face the Tola Gestapo when them start charging fools a thousand dollars for a slipshod strong armed program alot of us were fine without.

    I'm not against the NHI in theory since we all have to look out for one another...however I'm against how it's implimented, the way it was devised as well as the reason, let's not kid ourselves along with how poorly the Government has handled dealing with the influx of people signing up for it. You can only imagine how bad it going to be at the hospital now when people show up, freshly minted card wanting bales of paraceptemol and band-aids for EVERY LITTLE THING, now that you got 'em on it. I hope we as a region survive this mess.
  • bat man (28/01/2016, 15:17) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    • nonsense (28/01/2016, 16:48) Like (5) Dislike (6) Reply
      Don't blame NDP, blame incompetent civil servants who are totally clueless about doing the most simple things. A complete and utter disgrace in this day and age.
    • Lily Ann (03/02/2016, 00:24) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
  • Tommy............... (28/01/2016, 15:19) Like (10) Dislike (13) Reply
    This is ridiculous registration was from August 2015 and everybody waited until the last minute to sign up.
  • OMG (28/01/2016, 15:43) Like (15) Dislike (2) Reply
    Everybody want to go last minute, that's the problem...they were to deal with getting there stuff sort in 2015 not 2016 and upset with the results they got..people working nhi have to be overwhelmed with this nonsense
  • SMH (28/01/2016, 15:44) Like (27) Dislike (4) Reply
    This was inevitable this project is being rushed through to satisfy the politicians ego, those same officials will fly out at the first pain while we regular folks have to use crappy government provided care
  • well sa (28/01/2016, 15:54) Like (11) Dislike (11) Reply
    Why did people wait so late to register? I anticipated this would happen and registered 5 months ago.Thank God I did!
  • Hmm (28/01/2016, 15:55) Like (9) Dislike (1) Reply
    Why are we giving it a dead line. With all the people that living here and children just let it go a flow til the last person is sign in or have gotten there card. I have sign up in September with my three kids. I have gotten my card but not my kids. its after a day oh so i had to call like the whole day til some one finally answer the phone so I can ask where are my kids card to find out their say if you are 5 and older you have to take a picture wow then for 5 and under there will have to picture a card for them my daughter turning 5 in April will that mean I have to go back so her card can have on her picture. then when I went to take my 5 year old picture being there so long then to be told the machine can print today there will take his picture and give me a call when its ready up to this day no call and when I call no answer. will I be fine for not getting his card when I did do what I have to do. this information was not post or said any where. NHI is a rush thing to me why not just take its time.
    • SMH (28/01/2016, 20:42) Like (2) Dislike (18) Reply
      It was your business to ask about the cards for your children when you got yours. Everything is available on the website! Learn to read and understand!! And learn how to spell too!! Your grammar is atrocious!!
      • chad (01/02/2016, 14:28) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
        No need to be so rude. Good customer service is the foundation that forges good relations.
    • bvi (29/01/2016, 03:56) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
      Once your child is registered, you dont have to join the mad rush to get his card. Go in and get it when the crowd wears off
  • Real (28/01/2016, 16:07) Like (16) Dislike (3) Reply
    in this day of technology and in this modern and civilize society ,I cant believe there is one registration point to issue of nhi card once you allow people to congregate for long waiting periods ,this kind of behavior bound to happen.after all we are human beings we all have our breaking point regardless of ones intelegence
  • Guest (28/01/2016, 16:56) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    Over 30,000 registered wow... I guess the airport will cost $1 billion dollars on a $80 million budget now.....
  • I tried (28/01/2016, 17:00) Like (15) Dislike (1) Reply
    It was not clear until recently that NHI applied to foreign residents as well. No matter, this one showed up about
    20 times to do what is required -and it was plain impossible and ridiculous to stand there for hours like an idiot.
    I would be happy to get registered if they would allow me to! Problem is so many obstacles in BVI for those who
    are at least willing to cooperate. Maybe wasting away in line is some kind of cultural thing to some people...?
  • wize up (28/01/2016, 17:07) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    police state; why the gun squad....
    • *ss (29/01/2016, 09:11) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      don't be an *ss; police state - foolishness. They were probably the nearest cops when it happened. you have no idea what a police state is!
  • Observer (28/01/2016, 19:15) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    I passed by the office yesterday around 8:30am and was shocked to see how people all jammed up together trying to get to the door to get a 'ticket'. This is craziness........this is how much months now and NHI people can't get their act together. Why not put barriers like in the Bank where persons can line up one after the other so there is some kind of orderly movement? Pick your ticket and wait on the side for the number to be called. But no!!! Everyone pushing and shoving, this is madness. You would think they have all kind of intelligent people working there and no one has thought of how to control crowd!!!
    My employer registered me in December and I am waiting until that madness quiet down so I can go take my picture and get my card in under 1 hour (my lunch hour). I hope that time will come soon.
  • LOL! (28/01/2016, 19:55) Like (68) Dislike (0) Reply
    I think it is hillarius everyone is so pissed. If ayo had to go through the labour and immigration process every year to get work permits, they would see that signing up for NHI were not so bad. It is the same muck we dealing with every year. Hurry up and wait your turn. Sorry, the card machine aint working, come back next week. Sorry, we loss your papers, do them again. Sorry, your boss need to sign this, take it back and wait your turn again. Sorry, we need your original long form you got when you first come here 18 years ago. Ayo gots to go find it, bring it back and wait your turn again. Sorry, we ran out of numbers, try to remember who were ahead of you. Sorry no chairs left, just wait in the corner by the crying baby, the lady with the cold and the stink man who aint bathe in a week. Sorry, the air condition aint working but ayo cant go outside because you might miss when ayo number is call. Sorry, ayo cant use that phone in here. And so it goes.

    Cows got better it better than work permit people.

    NHI were cake beside labour and immigration! Ayo needs to chill man.
    • GOOD ONE (29/01/2016, 10:44) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
      Listen, I typing and still laughing :) In all serious know they really need to get there act together.
  • Jack Kevorkian (28/01/2016, 20:27) Like (23) Dislike (2) Reply
    Everywhere you turn the NDP and there incompetent supporters have disgraced the BVI
  • Shamet (28/01/2016, 21:11) Like (11) Dislike (1) Reply
    It is a shame to see how this NDP Government has destroyed this territory. They have destroyed the people's self esteem. They think they are the top masters and have no respect for our people. They forget that they have come from a poor background. Now they are trying to get rich on the backs of the people. They will soon learn they are not above the law. They are selling out this country through greed and no one is coming to the aid of the populace. God is in control and he will stop them in his good time.
  • NHI (29/01/2016, 12:03) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    NHI was implemented and made compulsory. Alot of persons did nopt register early because it was not clear and there was a petition going around! That is the reason for the rush now, they are threatening to charge people after today but persons were being turned away after spending an entire day there. Some people work Monday to Friday 8-5. If you keep missing work to register, how will you pay for the NHI? I was registered already but not coming there with a child through that rocus to get a card. My health and safety more important.
  • nonsense (29/01/2016, 13:38) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    Regardless if you applied prior to extension of the deadline, this registration process is deplorable. One would think that any forward thinking individual would have foreseen this disaster from a mile away. Bearing in mind that the Registration is mandated for all Resident BVIslanders;

    1. Why not create an online portal to at least be able to help with the submission of applications. Once submitted an automated reply can to sent to the applicant to return at a scheduled location/time for picture taking and issuance of cards.

    2. Treat this as "Polling" if you would - If at elections we have to create numerous locations to handle the capacity of voters (Districts notwithstanding), why not dispatch teams of staff members (hire temporary staff if need be) to these polling stations in each district. This would no doubt ease the lines at the main building and most importantly expedite the process.

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