National Health Insurance Pilot Programme launched

first_img Share Share Sharing is caring! Share HealthLocalNews National Health Insurance Pilot Programme launched by: Dominica Vibes News – April 3, 2017center_img 479 Views   no discussions A National Health Insurance Pilot Programme (NHIP) has been officially launched, less than one year since it was mentioned by Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit in the 2016/2017 National Budget address.The pilot programme, launched at the Fort Young Hotel on Monday 3 April 2017 will operate through the Dominica Social Security in collaboration with the Ministry of Health. Minister for Health and Environment, Dr. Kenneth described this programme as a breakthrough and historic event saying “this is yet another manifestation of this government honoring its commitments to the people that it serves, and in this particular case, reforming the health sector of Dominica and taking it to the next level.”The provision of optimal health care services and access to these services by all, has always been a priority for this government, Dr Darroux continued saying that both developed and developing countries still continue to grapple with finding solutions to this issue. This pilot health insurance programme which was approved by Cabinet, will target single mothers resident or living permanently in Dominica, both nationals and non-nationals, under the age of thirty-five who are pregnant or have children three years or younger. The benefits include private sector services not available from or provided by the government, exclusive of those provided at the primary health care level, services not available locally where beneficiaries need to travel and is subject to referral from the relevant specialists within the government system and or approved by the medical services director. Referrals shall be restricted to a local medical consultant or the hospital medical director. Moreover, up to eighty percent (80%) on the invoices and bills shall be paid by the NHIP with the claimant being responsible for the remaining twenty percent (20%). In the event where the claimant does not have immediate access to funds for that twenty percent (20%) the amount will be given as a small loan with an arranged repayment schedule and in extreme cases, a government grant shall be provided based on the recommendation of the DSS. Those with private health insurance are advised to first claim from their insurances before trying to access this national health insurance. Dr. Darroux stated that payments from both DSS and the beneficiary are to be made directly to the medical facility or to the service provider.“So no one is going to have a cheque in their hand that they could use for other things, it has to be used to pay for the medical services which is sought,” he stated. Dr Darroux added that the NHIP is a health financing mechanism and a policy tool which the government hopes “aims to achieve the health policy goals of the government of the Commonwealth of Dominica and it is anticipated that this will serve a dual purpose for improving funding for health services and at the same time improving the quality and access to health care for mothers with children”. Not only will the NHIP generate additional resources for the health sector, but also guarantee that the targeted segment of the population has access to health services locally, support those affected in an organized way and engenders social solidarity and equity among the population. “It is the government’s plan to extend this coverage to the entire population using this pilot as a guide as well as ensuring consistency with international best practice,” Dr. Darroux said.“The need to provide some sort of health coverage also increases as we grapple with not only the rise in cost of health care services but with our mortality and morbidity rates,” Dr Darroux continued.He added that as a government they can only do so much to “alleviate the pain and suffering” and so encouraged that healthy lifestyles starts with individual decisions. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Health and Environment and the Dominica Social Security, while the cheque for EC five million dollars was also handed over to the Dominica Social Security during the launch.– / 9 Tweetlast_img