Medical Director of the Bougainvillea Clinic Dr Heskith Vanterpool is urging the state-owned National Health Insurance (NHI) scheme to update their current policies to include kidney transplants.
This appeal was made after the clinic conducted the first successful kidney transplant in the British Virgin Islands last Saturday.
Dr Vanterpool said his clinic had conducted the transplant surgery without charge after being notified by the NHI prior that such a procedure was not covered under its existing policies.
“We have one major problem, NHI does not pay for kidney transplants. It is not the fault of government or anyone working in the NHI. It’s just the laws and how the NHI was written when it started,” Dr Vanterpool stated.
“Even some of the service that I thought they would pay for leading up to the transplant, it was not certified or pre-authorised and they told me that they are not going to pay for the medication the patient needs. So, we need to get people together to keep this patient going,” Dr Vanterpool added.
Dr Vanterpool said talks have started with the Chief Medical Officer in the Ministry of Health Dr Irad Potter to see what measures can be taken.
He said: “I assure you that discussion of policy has already started. Dr Potter and I have had communications and he has already indicated that we have to start looking at policies to put in place on how these things are done.”
The historic transplant surgery was conducted with the father-son duo of Neville and Nico Salmon.
It was reported that both patients were able to get back on their feet in less than 24 hours after the surgery,
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