Sun | Sep 24, 2017

NHF to develop national insurance health scheme

Published:Tuesday | September 6, 2016 | 9:00 AM
Christopher Zacca

The National Health Fund (NHF) has been tasked with the responsibility of developing a national health insurance scheme to fund the public health-care system.

NHF Chairman Christopher Zacca made the disclosure recently. He said the mandate was given by Minister of Health Dr Christopher Tufton.

"A national health scheme is a solution to address the need to adequately fund the health sector, and the significance to the public is that they will have a better health-care system," he noted.

Zacca said the work to develop the scheme has just started. "What shape and form it will take, it is early to speak of. It's a very complex process and it requires a lot of stakeholder consultations. The minister will determine the timeline, but it is not a process that will take months. It will be more than a year, and possibly two," said Zacca.

The NHF was established by the Government to reduce the financial burden of health care on the population by subsidising the cost of medication for 16 chronic illnesses.

These include breast cancer, prostate cancer, hypertension, heart disease, rheumatic fever, high cholesterol, vascular disease, diabetes, epilepsy, major depression, glaucoma, psychosis, asthma, arthritis and benign prostatic hyperplasia.

The entity pays out approximately $5 billion annually for prescription drugs.