Thu | Jan 17, 2019

NHF spends big on programmes this year

Published:Monday | February 19, 2018 | 12:00 AM
National Health Fund headquarters at 25 Dominica Drive, in St Andrew.

The National Health Fund (NHF) will officially hand over to the Ministry of Health, this year, the Cancer Care Centres at the Cornwall Regional Hospital in St James and the St Joseph's Hospital in Kingston.

A little more than $1.9 billion will be spent on the two facilities over three financial years, beginning in the 2018-2019 fiscal year. The Cancer Care Centre at the Cornwall Regional Hospital started operations in October 30, 2017, and the NHF continues to monitor it to ensure that the centre is operating at optimal levels.

During the new fiscal year, the agency will continue providing subsidies on drugs to citizens through the NHF and the Jamaica Drug for the Elderly Programme (JADEP).

The NHF forecasts that benefits in the form of subsidies on drugs, amounting to more than $5.1 billion, will be distributed to nearly 600,000 people registered with the fund. At the same time, more than 313,000 individuals are expected to be registered with the Drugs for the Elderly Programme this year. JADEP beneficiaries will get drugs, subsidised under the programme, valued at more than $374 million.

The NHF is proposing to conduct 100,000 screenings, this year, and this should be enhanced by its fully operational mobile clinic.

Further, the NHF will increase access points for public prescriptions to be filled by partnering with private pharmacies which will be paid a fee. The pilot project was a success and its anticipated that the NHF will engage a minimum of 50 private pharmacies across the island as the fund continues to roll out this programme.