While delivering his Budget Address for the upcoming 2020 fiscal year, Premier and Minister of Finance Andrew Fahie has announced that the current National Health Insurance (NHI) scheme will be overhauled.
“Your government intends to carry out a comprehensive restructuring of the NHI as the current scheme is unsustainable and is in threat of failure,” the Premier said.
Prior to making that statement, Premier Fahie had said his government will be allocating $2 million to the BVI Health Services Authority to fund several projects.
He said the goal of this investment is to help reduce the level of dependency that most local healthcare providers have on the NHI.
“This is an essential investment. It is critical in ensuring that the health authorities are able to collect sufficient revenue to meet all of its obligations and reduce its reliance on the National Health Insurance programme,” Premier Fahie stated.
System broken for a while
Back in August 2018 when Fahie was a member of the parliamentary Opposition, Third District Representative Julian Fraser labelled the NHI as a “broken” system.
Among some of the issues singled out by Fraser was his concern that the NHI was turning away unemployed persons.
“Seniors were supposed to be free [under NHI]. When a person became unemployed, they were supposed to be free as well, but people who have become unemployed have found themselves without NHI,” Fraser said at the time.
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