ST. KITTS-NEVIS GOVERNMENT TAKING DECISIVE STEPS BEFORE IMPLEMENTING UNIVERSAL HEALTHCARE

Basseterre, St. Kitts, December 23, 2019 (SKNIS): The Government of St. Kitts and Nevis is undertaking careful steps before implementing Universal Healthcare.

Minister responsible for National Health Insurance, the Honourable Eugene Hamilton, said that the Cabinet has received implementation reports from the St. Kitts and Nevis National Commission for Universal Health Care (SKNNCUHC). The blueprint included recommendations from the Health Economics Unit at the Centre for Health and Economics, University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus in Trinidad. The Actuarial Report has also been presented to the Cabinet.

“We know what it is going to cost [to implement Universal Healthcare Coverage] but we have to engage our stakeholders in responding and determining when and how to implement it,” Minister Hamilton stated on December 17, 2019. “We are not a dictatorship. We can just say we will do it tomorrow and don’t care, but we prefer to engage and consult and involve people in the process.”

The minister added that this process is ongoing and is the best way to approach the introduction of a new national policy.

“We are deliberating, we are consulting, and we’ll make sure that when we begin, it is not a faulty start. It is a start that ensures that those, the least among us, will benefit from the world’s goods according to 1 John 3:17,” Honourable Hamilton indicated.

The New International Version of 1 John 3:17 states “If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?”

Minister Hamilton added that this scripture guides the Cabinet when making key policy decisions. These include implementing the Poverty Alleviation Programme, which provides a $500 stipend to households earning less than $3000 per month; and the Roof Repair Programme, that assisted persons with damaged roofs after Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017.

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