Regulations seeking to establish a Tribunal to which any person aggrieved by the decisions of the National Health Fund (NHF) Board, may appeal, were passed in the House of Representatives on March 12.
In his remarks, Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson, explained that the Regulations provide for the constitutional, proper administration and overall function of the tribunal.
“In this regard, the Regulations make provision for the appointment of members of the tribunal, their tenure of office, the appeals procedure and remuneration of the members,” Dr. Ferguson said.
Section 18 (2) of the National Health Fund Act provides that the Minister, by Regulations under the Act, establish a tribunal to which any person aggrieved by the decision of the Board may appeal.
In addition, Section 26 (1) of the Act gives the Minister the power to, after consultation with the Board, make regulations for the proper administration of, and giving effect to this Act.
Opposition Spokesperson on Health, Dr. Ken Baugh, gave his support to establish the tribunal.
“If anyone feels aggrieved or being underserved by the National Health Fund, then there is a tribunal to whom they can appeal,” Dr. Baugh said.
The NHF, by virtue of the National Health Fund Act, was established in 2003 to provide support to the health system in Jamaica, with a view to improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the health care and the overall health of the Jamaican population.
This is done through three categories of benefits: individual, through the provision of subsidies to individuals for the treatment of chronic diseases; institutional benefit, through the provision of grants for health care projects; and public information to promote healthy lifestyles and behaviours.
The Board of the NHF is required to carry out all activities which appear to be in the interest of the Fund and the public and to ensure enforcement of the provisions of the Act.
By Latonya Linton, JIS Reporter