St.Kitts-Nevis Health Minister Announces Tentative Date For Launch Of National Health Insurance Plan


Written by LK Hewlett (WINN FM)
St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): Minister of Health Eugene Hamilton has set an ambitious end of year launch date for the government’s proposed National Health Insurance Plan.
“My preferred date would be very late this year- November, December; but as with all things, sometimes things usually don’t go as planned. Let’s say later this year, early next year.”
Hamilton said Tuesday (May 10) that the government is in the final stages of setting up a commission to oversee national consultation on the scheme.
“As we speak I just have at least two more names of persons to join a commission that we will get the Cabinet to appoint to begin the process of consultation, and then providing that report that will guide the implementation of the program. I anticipate the consultation will not take more than three to four months. After the four-month consultation period and the presentation of that document it will be determined by Cabinet at what time we start.”
The Minister noted the increasing cost of healthcare and said while a national health plan would not provide 100% coverage of all citizens’ healthcare needs, it would certainly take some of the financial burden off the average citizen. He encouraged public private partnerships in the area of healthcare funding.
“Our treasury cannot pay for all the healthcare costs in our country; that notwithstanding, my government deems it unfair for someone to work hard for years only to have their savings wiped out by medical bills. Therefore we shall press forward with a phased roll-out approach of a National Health Insurance plan whose benefit package will include comprehensive cancer care. Clearly a National Health Insurance plan cannot be all things to all people; it can only provide some things to some people. There will be gaps, which can only be filled by nongovernmental source of funding.”
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