JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The National Health Fund (NHF) has been tasked with the responsibility of developing a National Health Insurance Scheme to fund the public healthcare system.
  • “What shape and form it will take; it is early to speak of. It’s a very complex process and it requires a lot of stakeholder consultations. The Minister will determine the timeline, but it is not a process that will take months. It will be more than a year and possibly two,” NHF Chairman, Christopher Zacca, told JIS News.

The National Health Fund (NHF) has been tasked with the responsibility of developing a National Health Insurance Scheme to fund the public healthcare system.

NHF Chairman, Christopher Zacca, made the disclosure at a recent JIS Think Tank at the agency’s head office in Kingston.

He said that the mandate was given by Minister of Health, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton.

“A national health scheme is a solution to address the need to adequately fund the health sector, and the significance to the public is that they will have a better healthcare system,” he noted.

Mr. Zacca said the work to develop the scheme has just started.

“What shape and form it will take; it is early to speak of. It’s a very complex process and it requires a lot of stakeholder consultations. The Minister will determine the timeline, but it is not a process that will take months. It will be more than a year and possibly two,” he told JIS News.

The NHF was established by the Government to reduce the financial burden of healthcare on the population by subsidising the cost of medication for 16 chronic illnesses.

These include breast cancer, prostate cancer, hypertension, heart disease, rheumatic fever, high cholesterol, vascular disease, diabetes, epilepsy, major depression, glaucoma, psychosis, asthma, arthritis, and benign prostatic hyperplasia.

The entity pays out approximately $5 billion annually for prescription drugs.