Health Corporation to be merged with NHF


The Health Corporation Limited (HCL) is to be merged with the state-run entity, the National Health Fund (NHF).
This was announced by Minister of Health, Hon. Rudyard Spencer, yesterday (November 9), when he piloted a Bill in the House to amend the NHF Act, to effect the change.
Mr. Spencer said the integration of aspects of the HCL into the operations of the NHF will see a much more efficient and cost effective system.
“This transfer of responsibility seeks to integrate and strengthen the current system of procurement, warehousing and distribution of pharmaceuticals and other medical supplies within the public health sector to make them more effective, improve cost efficiency and allow for the winding up of HCL,” he said.
Mr. Spencer said staff critical to the continuation of business will be placed on six-month contracts, including all Drug-Serv staff, while some 19 workers will be made permanently redundant. He noted that the final winding up of the HCL will result in the separation of over 180 workers, at a cost of some $55 million.
The Minister said the Ministry has had several counselling sessions with the staff of the HCL and he has also met with staff on a number of occasions.
“The union representing the staff, the Civil Service Association, (was) integrally involved in what we were doing and we had general staff meetings and counselling and sessions on how the staff could invest their money,” he told the House.
He said a joint implementation team has been established and is spearheading the integration process.
Mr. Spencer said the amendment will see the NHF pursuing specific obligations and responsibilities, including warehousing, procurement, and distribution.
“The reason for this is that we believe the NHF is strategically placed to carry out (those) operations,” he argued.
The Minister further noted that part of the reason for amending the NHF Act is to streamline certain aspects of the pharmaceutical system and the public sector; create new institutional arrangements to reflect streamline functions; strengthen inventory management; and outsource functions that are best managed outside of the State entity.
Responding to a concern raised by the Opposition Spokesman on Finance,
Dr. Omar Davies, Mr. Spencer said the restructuring exercise will in no way impinge on the original functions of the NHF.

JIS Social