JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The Clarendon Health Department has undertaken a fee collection drive for all the health facilities in the parish, in an effort to recover outstanding amounts for services offered.
  • Michael Bent, Parish Manager for the Department told JIS News that the collected funds would be used to offset the expenses of the health services as well as to improve the quality of service offered.
  • "Over a period of about four to five years, approximately $45 million in outstanding amounts has been accumulated from clients who have not paid. We aim to collect at least 20 per cent of this per annum," he said.

The Clarendon Health Department has undertaken a fee collection drive for all the health facilities in the parish, in an effort to recover outstanding amounts for services offered.

Michael Bent, Parish Manager for the Department told JIS News that the collected funds would be used to offset the expenses of the health services as well as to improve the quality of service offered.

“Over a period of about four to five years, approximately $45 million in outstanding amounts has been accumulated from clients who have not paid. We aim to collect at least 20 per cent of this per annum,” he said.

Mr. Bent noted that strategies to be used included a debt collector; the use of assessment officers who would encourage the relatives of patients to pay for the services before they are discharged from the hospital; and the sensitization of front line staff to urge persons to pay before leaving.

Visual reminders to pay are also to be posted on the compound of the May Pen Hospital.

He noted that the hospital’s administration hoped to implement the use of a debit or credit card system for payment by September of this year.

Mr. Bent pointed out that there has been some success since the implementation of the drive.

“Since we began our efforts to collect, the Lionel Town Hospital has shown marked improvement. Up to about November/December last year, we collected between $400,000 and $500,000 per month, and consistently since January this year, we have been collecting over $650,000 to $700,000 per month,” he said.

Mr. Bent told JIS News that the drive is expected to last for at least two years.

“We want to encourage persons who use all the health facilities to pay the fees, which are quite minimal, and also those who are indebted to the facilities, to come in and settle their bills. It is important for the service to continue and for us to improve the quality provided,” Mr. Bent said.