UPDATED: US$722k capital injection for National Health Insurance Plan
The National Health Fund (NHF) on Wednesday signed a contract with Sanigest International aimed at advancing the establishment of a national health insurance plan for the country.
Sanigest International secured the US$722,000 contract, through a competitive tender process, to be a consultant to develop a proposal to establish the insurance scheme.
The full roll-out of the undertaking is to commence in the new year.
The scope of the project includes the formulation of a policy proposal covering sustainable health financing, government regulations, services to be covered (in the plan), administrative capacity requirements, and investment requirements for the management and administration of the planned scheme.
An actuarial analysis of key features and requirements of the proposed national insurance plan is also expected to be done.
"We expect to have the final report presented to the minister in the next six months, and in it, we will present a matrix of funding and expansion of access for the minister's consideration.
"Following the necessary and relevant approvals, the NHF will then launch and implement the National Health Insurance Plan for Jamaica," NHF Chairman Gregory Mair said on Wednesday at the signing ceremony in New Kingston.
According to Mair, during the consultation process, medical groups, insurance companies, pharmacy and diagnostics groups will be invited to give their input into the establishment of the plan.
'Significant day for future of healthcare'
Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton says that the signed agreement to establish Jamaica's National Health Insurance Plan represents a significant day for the future of healthcare in the country. He said that the plan for a national health insurance scheme "is a fundamental reform of the health financing system".
He used the opportunity to underscore the Government's intent to shift focus from being a provider to being a purchaser of health services.
According to the health minister, Sanigest International has experience and global recognition in the development of national health insurance schemes.
It has worked in more than 70 countries over the past 25 years and has done similar projects in The Bahamas and St Lucia, Tufton said.
NOTE: The headline of this article had incorrectly stated US$722m as opposed to US$722K.