Jamaica News: Health Minister, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, says the road map for the development of the National Health Insurance Scheme for Jamaica is now available.
The road map is expected to guide the implementation of the scheme, taking into account elements such as benefits package, levels and sources of financing, legislative changes, provider network and the requisite administrative and organisational structures.
Its development is being overseen by the National Health Fund (NHF).
Dr. Tufton said that the scheme, which intends to enhance the quality of healthcare for Jamaicans, is critical, as only 20 per cent of the population has access to private insurance.
“It is all about universal access, which means that no one should be denied based on their inability to pay and that is the desirable global concept governing public health. That is what the World Health Organization (WHO) preaches, that is what non-governmental organisations and governments desire and require…The National Health Insurance Scheme is (also) an attempt to reduce the burden of waiting,” he said.
The Minister was speaking at the official opening of the Drug Serv Pharmacy at the Linstead Public Hospital in St. Catherine on December 13. The project was undertaken by the NHF at a cost of $31 million.
Chief Executive Officer of the Linstead Public Hospital, Paul McIntyre, commended the NHF project team for the timely completion of the facility.
“The pharmacy project has provided the opportunity for us to repurpose the old pharmacy department. The plan is to use that space to expand the female wards, which is expected to reduce the waiting time in accident and emergency,” he said.
He further commended the NHF for the “critical role it has been playing in providing funding for the various projects, which form part of the hospital development plans.”
“Through the NHF’s support, we have successfully completed the renovation of the administration building and the renovation of the accident and emergency department at a cost of over $160 million,” he said.
The operating theatre will be renovated as part of the development plans.
During the opening of the pharmacy, Trade Winds Citrus Limited, producer of popular fruit juices and drinks, donated $1 million to the hospital to obtain infant warmers, which are used to maintain the body temperature of newborns.
Source: JIS News