St. Kitts – Nevis Healthcare Policy Meeting

Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
December 05, 2007

The presence of health officials from St. Kitts and Nevis at the 2nd Annual Conference for Healthcare Policy Makers will assist the Federation as it continues to deliver quality health services to residents.

The Federation’s delegation includes Honourable Ministers of Health Rupert Herbert, St. Kitts and Hensley Daniel, Nevis.  They are accompanied by Permanent Secretaries Joslyn Liburd and Elvis Newton as well as Chief Medical Officer Dr. Patrick Martin and Chief of Staff Dr. Cardell Rawlins.

The Miami, Florida Conference which runs from December 4 to 6, targets policy makers of the Caribbean Basin and Central America bringing together more than one hundred stakeholders to discuss health issues.

Of particular importance to the Federation is the subject of national health insurance plans designed to provide universal access to health care and provision of tertiary services at offshore medical facilities.  The delegation is also interested in the discussions which focus on reorientation of health care systems to better position them to respond to today’s challenges.

These include increasing incidences of non communicable diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, obesity and heart disease which are the major causes of ill health and death in the Federation and the wider Caribbean.

One member of the delegation, Chief Medical Officer, Dr Patrick Martin will moderate one of the sessions titled: “How to contain the fiscal impact of national health plans and improve quailty.”  Panelists will consider issues associated with utilisation of information technology systems throughout the health sector and how such contribute to quality outcomes.

Further, Dr Martin will also participate in one of the panel discussions during which he will share the Federation’s experiences on the role of government and the private sector in health infrastructure development.

Minister of Health in the Nevis Island Administration Honourable Hensley Daniel explained that the conference was being convened at a time when the issues of costs associated with health care, equity and utilisation of services were assuming greater prominence as government endeavours to provide affordable health care.  The conference provided opportunities for collaboration, sharing of best practices, specifically rationalisation of health insurance and an increased focus on ensuring quality in the health sector.

Minister Herbert of St. Kitts and Nevis Honourable Rupert Herbert is of a similar opinion and believes that such conferences also provide opportunities to assess the Federation’s approach to the delivery of health care.  This will determine strengths and gaps impacting the health sector’s capacity to respond to the increasing demands of the population.

Delegations from several other Caribbean countries are also participating in the conference which is being sponsored by a number of partners including Jackson Memorial Hospital, Baptist Health, Royal Caribbean International and Air Ambulance Professionals, all of which have a presence in the Federation.

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