St. Kitts – Nevis Moves Towards Universal Healthcare

Earl Asim Martin,  Rupert Herbert and Marcella Liburd

Earl Martin, Rupert Herbert and Marcella Liburd

Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
March 12, 2010 (SKNIS)

Residents and visitors of St. Kitts and Nevis have enjoyed quality health care from the facilities provided on the islands and His Excellency Sir Cuthbert Sebastian, said ongoing efforts will “progressively” upgrade the services.

During his Throne Speech on Wednesday, the Governor General said “We intend to continue doing so with the addition of more advanced treatment capabilities such as haemodialysis, and modern diagnostic tools including MRI facilities.”

Noting, that healthcare is extremely important the Head of State revealed that a National Health Insurance Scheme is being proposed for all citizens. During an interview with SKNIS, Minister of Health, Honourable Marcella Liburd, supported his comments giving some insight into the new initiative.

“Our vision for healthcare is a fit and healthy nation and so the coverage of everybody is part of that vision,” she stated. The Minister added that while healthcare is a very costly commitment, it is an important one because “the wealth of the nation is not in the treasury” but rather in the healthcare system.

“Don’t care how much money you have, if you do not have your health, you have nothing,” she stressed.

“We have renewed our commitment to primary healthcare to try to prevent people from getting advance stages of illness which is so very costly,” Minister Liburd disclosed, noting that greater efforts will be placed on getting men to access health services.

“The plan also envisages covering costs for persons who have to go overseas for treatment when the treatment is not available locally. It also envisages covering dental health and eye care,” she stressed.

Minister Liburd revealed that consultants and other array of stakeholders are currently working on the practical health plan and when their assessment is complete and it has gone through the relevant reviews, public consultations will be held.

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