Health Insurance Policy in its final stages

Government will soon be reviewing the recommendations made to them by the National Health Insurance Committee on the implementation of Health insurance in Grenada.

This was announced by Chairman of the committee, President-General of the Technical & Allied Workers Union (TAWU), Chester Humphrey in a media briefing held last Friday at TAWU house on H.A Blaize Street.

The committee – made up of representations from St George’s University, Ministry of Health, Antigua and Private Sector doctors – has been in deliberation for the past year to look at what should be included in the Health Insurance.

“I’m happy to report that we are in the closing stages of the task given to us by the government and a lot of hard work (has) gone into this, many hours spent to arrive where we are,” Humphrey told reporters.

The trade union leader who was a supporter of the former Congress government of Tillman Thomas and was expelled by the then ruling party is now considered as a pro-supporter of Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell and his governing New National Party (NNP).

Humphrey said that the work of the committee is 99.9% complete and it shows that the health system is in need of a major overhaul.

“The state of our health system requires significant reform and we are tasked to do that, a task that we happily carried out and it’s reflective of the approach that the government is taking in this matter,” he added.

Minister for Health, Clarice Modeste-Curwen also addressed the media on where she thinks Grenada’s health care system should go.

According to Modeste-Curwen if Grenada does not seek a realistic way of generating revenues or collecting revenues for a sustainable health care, then the system would not make any sense.

She pointed to areas where the private sector was being used to provide services, which the General Hospital should be doing.

“Practically every test we had to get done had to be done through the private sector and of course you could well understand that there are some persons who needed the services but because of the cost they could not have access to it and this is a great tragedy for the nation, not just for health care,” said Minister Modeste-Curwen.

“As we achieve certain goals, the issue is how do we maintain them and how do we go to other goals because it’s a step that we’re climbing and as we obtain one round, we have to see how we can get to the other and what we have now is a very fragile situation where you know sometimes you have it and you feel good but just at the moment that you’re starting to feel good …. it will decrease and we have to look for replenishing,” she added.

The female government minister lamented the fact that in these tough economic times, government was asking citizens to make sacrifices and as such the implementation of the Health Insurance will require additional sacrifice to be made by the population.

“In tough economic times we all have to make sacrifices otherwise we all are going to suffer. So as difficult as it is for us as government to say let us make some more sacrifices this is what we have to do at this time…”, she said.

“….Speaking of a National Health Insurance, where we are going to be asking our citizens to contribute – that makes it even a little bit more difficult – but I know it is worse to go to the hospital and not have the medication for your ills,” she remarked.

An improved health sector was promoted by the Mitchell government as key to its success in building a new economy for the island.

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