BASSETERRE, St Kitts (SKNIS) -- Marcella Liburd, minister responsible for health, confirmed that steps are already in motion for the establishment of a national insurance scheme in St Kitts and Nevis during a cabinet press conference on Thursday.
Liburd outlined that than upgrade in the public servants’ insurance scheme to include aspects such as beneficiaries and the inclusion of coverage of long-term illnesses such as cancer, was one of the components of the insurance that would eventually include all citizens of the Federation.
“The next phase was to look at those workers who basically are at the end of our income bracket, who cannot help themselves,” Liburd said. “We have a policy right now where, through the social services programme/the social protection programme, these people can access some form of assistance when they have to go overseas for example for health reasons. We help them in whatever way we can, but there’s always a [specified] sum. I think right now it’s limited to US$5,000 per person anytime they have to travel for some health issue.”
The minister explained that such funds would be channeled into an insurance scheme that would be able to provide more significant and longer-term health benefits than the occasional US$5,000.
Liburd, who is also responsible for social services, community development, gender affairs and culture, noted that through gender affairs, the women in small enterprises (WISE) would be launched next week. It would include those women undertaking micro-enterprises.
“Let’s be frank, wherever the women are, the children are, and so the women look after the family,” Liburd emphasized. “And so under the WISE programme what we are looking to do is assist those women who sell trays, those women who have very small shops, those women who have very, very micro-businesses to help them in terms of their turnover.”