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BVI moves forward with national health insurance plan
Published on November 30, 2012 Email To Friend    Print Version

ROAD TOWN, BVI -- The government of the British Virgin Islands continues to move forward with its plans to introduce and implement national health insurance (NHI) in the territory to ensure that all residents have access to health care services.

As such, a series of educational opportunities and consultations has begun to dialogue with public officers, the public, media, health practitioners, businesses and other stakeholders about the goals, objectives and benefits of NHI to the territory.

On Thursday morning, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Health and Social Development Petrona Davies and chief medical officer and chairman of the NHI project steering committee, Irad Potter began consultation meetings with their staff.

Davies said, “It is important that we educate and get feedback from our staff as they play a crucial role in strengthening our healthcare system. It is vital that they be kept abreast of what the NHI is, what it means for them, their families and ultimately the territory.”

Potter said he is pleased that they can move forward with the public consultations and educating people about NHI, so that everyone understands why access to healthcare is important.

In his 2013 Budget Address on November 15, Premier and Minister of Finance Dr Orlando Smith said that a critical component of government’s health reform strategy is restructuring the health financing system to provide equitable coverable for all the people of the BVI.

He announced that the preliminary policy, financial and legislative framework for the viable operation of NHI had been completed and that government was keenly aware that achieving an appropriate balance in the funding of NHI is necessary for its long-term sustainability and growth.

Once implemented, NHI will be operated by the Social Security Board and will be funded through a combination of government budgetary allocations, employer and beneficiary contributions, co-payments, surcharges and interest earned on the NHI Fund reserves.
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