updated 6:19 PM PDT, Sep 5, 2017
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Minister Skelton: NHI Won't Come on Stream Until September


The National Health Insurance (NHI) is expected to commence before the end of this year, Minister for Health and Social Development, Hon. Ronnie Skelton announced on Monday night.

During the NDP radio program that was aired on April 20, Minister Skelton stated that background work is being done on the NHI that won't come on stream until September.

In an update on the NHI that was provided in the House of Assembly on February 12, Hon. Skelton said that the introduction of the National Health Insurance System will ensure that all residents will have equal access to quality healthcare regardless of pre-existing conditions or ability to pay.

The Minister for Health stated: “While we work to make the National Health Insurance System a reality, the Health Services Authority has put measures in place to assist persons who do not have insurance. For the uninsured with an income, the Authority will create the most affordable payment plans.”

“As has been said many times before, no one in this Territory will be denied access to needed healthcare…The Government will continue to subsidize uninsured seniors 65 years and over, persons in custody of the State, dependent children of residents, as well as persons of insufficient means,” Hon. Skelton reminded.

In December, the Minister while speaking at the opening of the new Peebles Hospital told residents: “The NHI will provide improved access to health services, financial risk protection, and improved health outcomes for all the people of the Virgin Islands."

  • Published in Health

Peebles Hospital Records Client Increase


Minister for Health and Social Development, Hon. Ronnie Skelton has reported that the Peebles Hospital has recorded an increase in patient numbers.

Hon. Skelton made the announcement in a statement to the House of Assembly on February 12. In his statement, the Minister said: “The investment made in the Territory’s healthcare system is already beginning to reap benefits, Madame Speaker. The confidence in our Health Services has greatly increased as demonstrated by the significant upsurge in the number of persons accessing healthcare at our facilities.”

In fact, the Minister stated that the Health Service Authority had to make a decision to take steps to provide additional the accommodation that was needed to provide service to all of the clients. Hon. Skelton told the House: “So much so, Madame Speaker, that we will now have to open beds on the fifth floor of the new hospital sooner than we had anticipated.”

In December, the Minister announced that persons from neighbouring Caribbean islands were traveling to the BVI to access service. However, in his statement this month he did not state whether the increase he referred to was in relations to these overseas clients.

In his announcement last year about the increase of overseas clients, Hon. Skelton said: “We have already been attracting quite a number of patients from Anguilla, St. Kitts and Nevis, and other Caribbean islands who now have access to HIMA specialists without the extra inconvenience; and expense of acquiring a US visa. This is happening even before we’ve had the chance to embark on a targeted medical tourism marketing campaign.”

  • Published in Health
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