As part of the design phase of the National Health Insurance (NHI) Project, The University of the West Indies, HEU, Centre for Health Economics (UWI-HEU) conducted 2 sensitisation seminars with key stakeholders and social partners of the National Health Insurance in Grenada.
The seminars were held on 5 and 6 September 2018 with the objectives of enhancing the knowledge of participants in the philosophy and operations of a National Health Insurance Programme and capacity building for its administration, once implemented.
The training was facilitated by resources of The University of the West Indies, HEU of St. Augustine Campus, Trinidad who are the lead consultants on the NHI Project. The presenters were Professor Karl Theodore, Director; Dr Ashton Cumberbatch, Technical Advisor/Medical Specialist and Dr Stanley Lalta, Researcher on the Grenada NHI Project. Also present, in the capacity of Resource Expert, was Dr George Gough, Chairman of the National Health Insurance, Belize. Dr Gough spoke about his country’s experience with the implementation of their National Health Insurance programme including the successes and challenges. Belize officially launched their NHI in 2001.
Present at the sensitisation seminar on both days and addressing the participants was Hon. Nickolas Steele, Minister of Health, Social Security & International Business.
Day 1 targeted Senior Officials including the Board of Directors of the National Insurance Scheme, members of the National Health Insurance Advisory Committee and Senior Officials of the Ministries of Health and Social Development. Participants on Day 2 included the social partners with representatives from the Trade Unions, Medical, Pharmaceutical and Allied Health Councils, GUT Group Medical Plan, Grenada Chamber of Commerce, Grenada Employers Federation, the Police Welfare Association, the Registry, Government Information Service, Grenada Food and Nutrition Council and private medical facilities. Key senior managers of the National Insurance Scheme and the staff of the National Health Insurance Secretariat were also in attendance.
The information sharing sessions were part of the Design Specification of UWI-HEU’s contract to provide Technical Support in the Development of Skills and Capacity for managing the NHI and was the third such session facilitated by the team. On 4 and 5 July 2018, a 2-day in-depth capacity building workshop was held with persons who may be involved in the operations of the NHI. Participants at this workshop included representatives from the following departments within the NIB, government ministries and the NHI Secretariat: –
Ministry of Health (Planning, IT, Epidemiology, Communications)
That 2-day workshop was facilitated by Dr Stanley Lalta and Roger McLean with support from Vyjanti Beharry, Kimoy Worrell and Charmaine Metivier, all of the UWI-HEU. Roy Barry, Deputy Director of the National Health Insurance, BVI was present at that session in the capacity of Resource Expert and spoke about his island’s experience, challenges and successes.
The National Health Insurance Secretariat continues to work with UWI-HEU on the design phase of the NHI Project to ensure a successful implementation. While the participants of the sessions were encouraged to share their knowledge with the members of their various organisations and groups, public discussions will be held throughout the tri-island with key groups at an opportune time to ensure everyone is aware and informed of the NHI.