The Ministry of Health and Human Services in collaboration with the Ministry of Home Affairs, Transportation, Broadcasting, Energy and Utilities and Telecommunication Commission led a delegation to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic to discuss ways the Health and Home Affairs Ministries can strengthen the strategic ties between the two countries.
During the two-day visit, the delegation met and held discussions with the Minister of Consular Affairs Dr. Jatzel Román, and Minister of Health Dr. Daniel Rivera.
On Monday 14th March 2022, Minister Responsible for Home Affairs in the TCI, Hon. Otis Morris, led discussions withDr. Jatzel Roman, on the Dominican Republic’s acceptance of emergency travel documents from Turks and Caicos Islands for treatment abroad patients.
This document provides a single journey, which allows the bearer to return home or, exceptionally, to another destination, in the event their travel document is lost or stolen.
This was the first-time issues of this nature were discussed between both countries. A proposal is set to be presented to the Dominican Republic Government for review and further discussions.
Minister Morris was happy with the talks.
“My ministry holds the main responsibility for travel documents and continues to do its utmost to bring about change whilst assisting with treating abroad matters,” he said, adding that as a country, the TCI remains cognizant that while emergencies can happen at any time, the emergency travel document will only be used to facilitate persons travelling without being in possession of a valid passport.”
The Ministry of Home Affairs said it will continue to communicate further with the Ministry of Consulate Affairs in the Dominican Republic to further advance their acceptance of the emergency travel document.
On Tuesday 15th March, Hon. Jamell Robinson led discussions with the Minister of Health - Dr. Daniel Rivera of the Dominican Republic concerning the return of human remains of individuals who would have succumbed to COVID-19 in that country.
Discussions were also held regarding the strengthening of a better relationship between the Dominican Republic and the Turks and Caicos Islands for the betterment of healthcare and services being offered to the people and residents of the Turks and Caicos Islands.
A line of communication will be established, and an agreement presented for review, consultation, and finalization between the two countries.
After the meeting, Hon. Robinson commented: “The mission to the Dominican Republic was a huge success as we were able to come to an agreement in principle regarding the handling of human remains of residents of the Turks and Caicos Islands who passed with COVID-19.
“I would like to thank Hon. Dr. Daniel Rivera, Minister of Health and his team for receiving our delegation consisting of myself, team health, Hon. Otis Morris, team Home Affairs, and Hon. Willin Belliard (the Governor’s Appointed Member to the House of Assembly), who played a pivotal role in organizing the visit. The discussions were fruitful and both countries have a better understanding of each other. "
The delegation consisted of comprised Robinson, Morris, Belliard, Permanent Secretary, Mrs. Desiree Lewis, Deputy Permanent Secretary, Mr. Fredrico Johnson, Acting Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ms. Cynara John, Acting Head of Secretariat, Mrs. Gardé Alleyne-Jones and Deputy Chairman of the National Health Insurance Board, Mrs. Carla Blake-Thomas.