Categorized | National News

Increased Demand For Medical Help

In the wake of increasing health care costs and in the face of National Health Insurance (NHI) coming on stream, Social Services Minister Melanie Griffin yesterday revealed that over the past three years, the number of individuals depending on financial assistance has increased.

According to Mrs. Griffin, in 2013, there were 4,377 individuals in need.

In 2014, that number increased by 2,285, bringing that year’s count to 6,662.

By 2015, the number of individuals exceeded 7,000.

In addition, Mrs. Griffin said that nearly 5,000 people were processed for a med pass at the Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH).

The passes are valued at $100 each for services related to lab tests, medications and x-rays.

“For the year July 2015 to June 2016 the Department of Social Services expended $226, 796 for 148 clients. Assistance with surgeries, including open heart surgery, different tests, colonoscopies, assistance with eye surgery, cataract removal and glucoma treatments, cancer therapy and other procedures done locally and abroad.” Mrs. Griffin explained.

“The Department also provides disability allowance for children with special needs up to the age of 16. In the last fiscal year a total of $326, 720 was expended for 1,338 children,” she added.

She noted that disability allowance in the amount of $7,380 was also paid out to 47 adults with temporary disability.


“Very recently, some $38,000 plus dollars were returned to the accounts section of the Department of Social Services by service providers. The money was to assist in nine different clients, five of whom needed heart surgery. The Public Hospital’s Authority added in an additional $2,000 per client,” she said.


“The forms were returned and the surgeries never took place. They never took place because in spite of the intervention of two government agencies, the clients and their families were unable to raise the additional funds they had indicated they would be able to raise for the procedures. The sum could be anywhere from 2 to $5,000 needed for treatment surgery,” Mrs. Griffin noted.


Unfortunately, Mrs. Griffin noted that despite efforts, individuals met their demise before accumulating the needed funding.





Written by Jones Bahamas

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