updated 6:19 PM PDT, Sep 5, 2017
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NHI Bill Passed

 

The passage of the National Health Insurance (NHI) legislation means that health insurance will no longer be a luxury, but a right of every legal resident of the Territory.


The bill, which was highly consulted, and heavily debated was passed with amendments in the House of Assembly on 8 April, 2014.


In presenting the Bill to the House Minister for Health and Social Development, Hon. Ronnie Skelton, became very emotional as he recalled that a few years ago he was very ill, and required a very costly medical procedure to save his life.


He stated that had it not been for health insurance, and the support of family and friends he might not have been here. Therefore, he noted that he is very concerned about the large part of the BVI population who are without insurance.

The Health Minister explained that approximately 65 percent of the residents in the British Virgin Islands are without medical insurance; and opined that the passage of the Bill will make it possible for all legal residents of the Territory to have equal access to quality healthcare at a cost that is not prohibitive.


He pointed out that at present, many residents turn to their elected representatives for assistance with their medical expenses; and that the NHI will eliminate the need for such dependence. Hon. Skelton also noted that the NHI might not be implement until October, because there are certain administrative things that needs to be put in place before implementation.

 

  • Published in Health

It Will Haunt Us If We Do Not Have A NHI System-Minister Skelton

 

"It will haunt our collective conscience to know that many of our people suffered and died because of their inability to access care timely and pay for the healthcare that they need," said Hon. Ronnie Skelton, Minister of Health and Social Development.

He was speaking today during the debate of the Social Security Amendment Act of 2013 which will facilitate the implementation of a National Health Insurance (NHI) system.

Minister Skelton expressed that majority of residents understand the purpose of NHI and they also appreciate that it is to healthcare what social security is to their retirement.

The Health Minister believes that residents will no longer have to depend on politicians for money to help with their medical needs.

"They will no longer will they be at the mercy of their elected representatives or the Government to give them a few thousand dollars here and a few thousand dollars there to assist them with providing a quality healthcare to improve the quality of their lives or save their life," he told the House.

The bill is to introduce a National Health Insurance system for persons who are legally resident in the Territory. According to the bill, through the legislation, all eligible persons shall have equal access to quality healthcare at a cost that is not prohibitive.

  • Published in Health
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