Health Ministry Gets $100 Million for Start-Up of Removal of User Fees


The Ministry of Health and Environment has received a sum of $100 million from the Ministry of Finance to fund preparatory activities being undertaken to meet the start-up date for the removal of user health fees come April 1.
So far, $60 million has been disbursed to the four regional health authorities – North-East, Southern, Western and South-East.
According to Minister of Health and Environment, Rudyard Spencer, the funds would be used to assist in the provision of immediate infrastructure needs, such as the upgrading and patient care areas, including additional chairs and the erection of tents where applicable.
He was speaking at a press conference, held at the Ministry of Health and Environment on King Street, today (March 28).
The allotment will also be used to provide benches and filing cabinets for medical records, in addition to purchasing appliances, such as fans and screens and the erection of directional signs.
“It will also be used in the transportation of some patients, staff and laboratory samples to and from Health Centres and Hospitals for diagnostic and emergency purposes,” he disclosed.
The Minister also said that $40 million was earmarked for the purchase of small medical equipment and medical supplies, such as stethoscopes, examination lamps, nebulisers, mobile suction machines, wheelchairs, blood glucose testing machines and autoclaves.
“These are being purchased utilizing the emergency procurement mechanism to ensure that the health facilities will have the supplies that are necessary to provide quality patient care,” he pointed out.
As of April 1, user fees at public health facilities, except the University Hospital of the West Indies, will be removed.

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