(ZIZ News) — The government of St. Kitts And Nevis is partnering with the University of the West Indies and the Pan American Health Organization to make universal health coverage and national insurance a reality in the federation.
The first step on the journey toward national insurance began with a launch ceremony of the commission and symbolic exchange of contractual instruments on Friday at the St. Kitts Marriot Resort.
Describing the event as a watershed ceremony, Prime Minister Dr. Hon. Timothy Harris said it brings the country one step closer to providing dignified healthcare for all citizens and residents throughout their lives.
“Today’s launching ceremony represents significant progress in my government’s mission to ensure full and affordable access to healthcare for all the people of St. Kitts and Nevis. My government’s efforts to open doors to healthcare for the people of St. Kitts and Nevis will close the gap on health disparities. Marking a landmark achievement for our nation and further advancing St. Kitts and Nevis’ leadership in healthcare delivery,” he said.
Minster responsible for Universal Health Coverage, Hon. Eugene Hamilton spoke of the purpose of the universal health commission which will oversee the construction of a proposal which in the future will be taken to parliament.
“The commission therefore is charged with responsibility to deliver a proposal to the people of the federation that will guarantee access to high quality care for all; that will support wellness and support preventative care that would help us achieve efficiency in healthcare delivery that would reduce the cost of healthcare services per capita; a proposal that captures the imaginative endeavours of the government and people of this federation; a proposal of which we all can be proud.”
Also making presentations at the launch ceremony were director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Dr. Carrisa Etienne, Pro Vice Chancellor and Campus Principal of the UWI St. Augustine Campus, Professor Brian Copeland and Director, HEU, Center for Health Economics at the St. Augustine Campus of UWI, Professor Karl Theodore.
The National Health Insurance Commission will be chaired by Azilla Clarke.
Friday’s launch formed part of the anniversary celebrations to mark the government’s third year in office.