JIS News

Minister of Health, Hon. Rudyard Spencer, has said that the practise of insured persons accessing treatment at public health facilities, without presenting their insurance details, has to stop.
“This business of user fees, a lot a people take us for granted. They come to the hospitals, their unions negotiate insurance for health care for them and all they have to put up is 20 per cent. Those same people come to the hospital here, access the treatment, access the care without giving you the health card, now that is going to stop,” he declared.
He explained that the Ministry of Health will be acquiring from companies, information on workers, who have health insurance, which will be placed in a database for the hospitals to access.
The Minister implored administrators of public health facilities to ensure that insured persons, who come in for treatment, show their insurance information.
He contended that persons with health insurance are preventing those without such cover from accessing free health care.
“What it means is that they are robbing someone else, who could access health care free,” he said, noting that the insurance cost is already set-off against the taxes of the respective companies.
“We ask that you ask each person, are you a member of an insurance company? What is the name of the insurance company? and demand that they give you the health card,” he urged.
On other matters, he said that the Ministry will be allowing patients to purchase medical appliances for personal use while admitted in hospital.
He said there have been complaints that hospital administrators were preventing such purchases.
“There are complaints about appliances. Some people come into the hospital and they want to buy appliances for a broken hip, broken arm and …we say hold on, you better be careful. I am saying to you, we are going to formalise it because … if you have a patient staying here for so long and want to buy the thing, we must let them buy whatever appliance. It is nothing against you or us,” he said.
A team from the Ministry of Health is on an island wide-tour of hospitals and have so far visited the Savanna-la-Mar Hospital in Westmoreland and the Cornwall Regional Hospital in Montego Bay, St. James.

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