JIS News

The Percy Junor Hospital in Manchester is putting measures in place, through which it hopes to collect some $77 million in outstanding user fees.
“It is actually more than that now because the figure is from our last report in October,” Acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Joan Tomlinson told JIS News, noting that the latest figure was not yet available.
Some patients, she said, were just not paying their user fees, and this remained a major challenge for the hospital.
To deal with the problem, the hospital administration had set up special payment plans for its delinquent customers but according to Mrs. Tomlinson, “some adhere to it and some do not”.
Now, the hospital is taking another approach and the facility’s assessment officer in collaboration with the Southern Regional Health Authority, was putting in place special arrangements to go out and collect the monies owed.
“We have written letters and have even offered discounts to those persons, who are willing to pay their outstanding debts,” she pointed out.
“We are appealing to persons to abide by their commitment even if they have to pay $100 per week or $500 per month,” Mrs. Tomlinson added.
The Acting CEO informed that inpatients remained the most delinquent group. “The majority of them are those, who have very long stays on the wards afflicted with lifestyle diseases such as hypertension, diabetes and epilepsy,” she said. As for the outpatients, they were not a problem, she said, because they paid the minimum of $300, which is the fee to see a doctor.
“Overall, the money owed could be used to build us a new Accident and Emergency Department and to purchase additional equipment to provide additional services,” the CEO pointed out.
The 61-year-old hospital serves 250,000 residents in the parishes of Clarendon, Manchester, Trelawny and St. Ann and has a staff complement of 210. The facility won the 2005/06 Best Hospital Award at the Public Sector Customer Service Competition earlier this year.

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