JIS News

Prime Minister the Hon. Bruce Golding has said that, despite many criticisms, his Government remains committed to the abolition of user fees in hospitals.
He said that those who can afford to pay, should pay what they can afford. But, the problem has always been that the country was never able to develop an appropriate means to determine whether a person can afford to pay and, if so, how much.
“It is an administrative nightmare,” Mr. Golding said, noting that studies done over the years indicate that the vast majority of people could not afford to pay, and when they do, they do so at tremendous sacrifice. He said that in light of this, the decision the Government took was necessary and must be sustained.
Admitting that it is not a perfect arrangement, the Prime Minister said that one of the weaknesses is in the area of health insurance, which should be covering some of the costs.
It is an anomaly that the Government is determined to correct, and the Minister of Health is working on a new arrangement that, where health insurance exists, efforts will be made to help recover some of the costs from the insurance companies.
Mr. Golding was speaking at the official opening of the refurbished and expanded Hargreaves Memorial Hospital in Mandeville on Thursday (August 27).
The 80-year-old hospital was rescued from bankruptcy by Mandeville business couple, Calvin and Sylvia Lyn, who purchased it and turned it into the town’s premier private health care provider. Also participating in the ceremony were the Minister of Health, Hon. Ruddy Spencer, and Finance and the Public Service Minister, Hon. Audley Shaw.

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