John Junor Lauds NHF but Calls for Strengthening of Some Components


John Junor, Member of Parliament for Central Manchester, has applauded the successes of the National Health Fund (NHF), but called for a strengthening of the component, which deals with medication and education.
“Even as we have done very well, it (NHF) needs to be strengthened at the level of the clinical interventions. Right now, the NHF has developed the best database on chronic conditions. We know, based on the people who are registered, every diabetic and every hypertensive (person),” he noted.
Mr. Junor, who was making his contribution to the 2007/08 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives yesterday (June 26), said that the Fund must move beyond knowing to monitoring whether beneficiaries are taking their medication and therefore complying with the protocols relating to the medical component.
“Every month, a report is turned out which tells if this person has come for their medication or not and your community health aid should get that report. So we need to strengthen something, but the original intention is there and it is a tremendous programme doing much for the people of this country,” he stated.Mr. Junor was instrumental in the establishment of the NHF when he served as Health Minister.
According to a Ministry Paper tabled in the House of Representatives on June 19 by Health Minister, Horace Dalley, an increasing number of Jamaicans are benefiting from the fund, with membership for individual benefits reaching 302,540 as at May 31. Of this number, 162,623 were Jamaica Drug for the Elderly Programme (JADEP) beneficiaries.
NHF individual benefits provide two health cards – the NHF card, which provides assistance for all persons residing in the island, who may have any of the 15 chronic illnesses regardless of age or gender, and JADEP, which provides for ages 60 and over, suffering with any of the 10 chronic illnesses covered.
JADEP drugs are free, but persons may be required to pay the pharmacy a dispensing fee for their prescription.

JIS Social