Wed | Sep 19, 2018

Tufton sides with pregnant women

Published:Wednesday | March 28, 2018 | 12:00 AMBryan Miller/Gleaner Writer

Western Bureau

Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton says he disagrees with the policy which is asking expectant mothers to pay for their health care up front and then claim refunds as, reportedly, is being suggested by an insurance company.

With several women's organisations arguing against the proposed policy, the health minister told The Gleaner recently that he planned to look into the matter.

"I think it is something that should be looked into. I am not aware of which insurance company that is involved" said Tufton. "But, frankly speaking, just as how other services are available via the insurance card and then the insurance company retrieves later on, I think that in this instance pregnancy is also a mainstream activity," he added.

The matter gained national attention following a recent Sunday Gleaner story, which highlighted the plight of pregnant women, who complained of having to pay out of their own pockets for their health care, despite having insurance coverage.

In the Sunday Gleaner story, gender specialist Nadeen Spence says the health and well-being of pregnant women and their babies are being compromised by the provision.

"It sounds like they are preying on women's vulnerability in pregnancy and their need for health care," said Spence, after it was pointed out that some medical providers do not provide the pregnant women with the forms to claim their refund.

The Health Minister indicated that he needs to get more details on the issue, adding that he has seen the article and it would be something that he would be curious to get more information on.

Minister Tufton spoke to The Gleaner last Thursday after participating in a ceremony to announce the adoption of the Cascade Health Centre in Hanover by the United Kingdom-based Ja55 Charities Group.