Categorized | National News

More Money To Implement NHI Plan

Although he couldn’t provide an exact figure, Minister of Health Dr. Perry Gomez admitted that the cost of implementing the National Health Insurance (NHI) plan would be substantially greater now than when the plan was first introduced under the former Christie administration.

During the Speech from the Throne, the government reiterated its commitment to advancing preparations for the introduction of the NHI scheme in a financially sustainable way.

“We have monies in the first 100 days allotment to begin to look at certain aspects of the programme that we worked out, which is now about eight years ago,” Dr. Gomez said.

“We have to review the costing and so on before we launch further.”

He revealed as much while conducting his first tour of the Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH), in his capacity as Minister of Health on Friday.

The Christie administration first began the process during its first term in office.

In fact, legislation was even passed in Parliament in order to introduce the plan.

However the party was ousted as government in 2007, before it could have been implemented.

At the time, it was projected that a NHI plan would cost some $200 million dollars annually.

But now, some experts estimate the scheme to cost as much as up to $750 million.

The NHI plan is one of the initiatives the Christie administration intends to execute during in its first year in office.

While Dr. Gomez does not hide from the fact that it will take some time to do so, he is insistent that health needs its own funding.

“Right now the Ministry of Health competes with all the other government ministries for a portion of the pie – that is the public treasury,” he said.

“Health needs its own dedicated fund and that is what NHI was all about. It is a financing mechanism for healthcare. It is the mechanism of choice recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO) for developing countries.”

Written by Jones Bahamas

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