Cabinet has agreed on a $500,000 budget to fund the operations of the secretariat overseeing the National Health Insurance Project.
Minister for Health, Social Security and International Business, Hon. Nickolas Steele, told members of the media on Tuesday that they expect to have a soft launch on schedule, the first stage being the introduction of electronic medical records by the Ministry of Health.
“We are still aiming for a launch by the first half of this year. I think what we need to sensitise the public,” Minister Steele said.
“The National Public Health Insurance will be a phased introduction, as most other health insurances are. There will be an initial basket of services catered for by the National Health Insurance, and that basket will continue to grow as time proceeds.”
The project will involve an actuarial study, looking at the total cost of health care per person.
“They have also been given a mandate to seek what we refer to as ‘seed’ capital to pursue that avenue, to pursue reinsurance avenues, and to get consultation” the Minister said.
“We are working closely with the European Union and The Pan American Health Organization and we are seeking assistance from other organisations”.
In another health-related matter, Minister Steel said a number of students are being awarded medical scholarships to attend the St. George’s University. The scholarships will cover medicine, pre-medicine, veterinary science and nursing.