Basseterre, St. Kitts, January 30, 2019 (SKNIS): Officials from the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis, and the St. Kitts and Nevis National Commission for Universal Health Care (SKNNCUHC) expressed profound gratitude to the team from the Health Economics Unit at the Centre for Health and Economics, University of the West Indies (UWI), St. Augustine Campus in Trinidad for their invaluable support in helping to shape the proposed universal health care coverage programme.
Various UWI officials have been involved with the programme over the past year giving advice and sharing best practices with the commission, and collecting feedback from persons and stakeholder groups about the proposed healthcare initiative.
At a concluding meeting on Wednesday, January 30, 2019, between government and UWI officials, SKNNCUHC Chair, Azilla Clarke, said: “it was a blessing” to have had the support of the UWI unit.
“They have left us with a lot of information; they have left us with a lot of reports which we can now use to inform the blueprint that will be our submission to the Federal Cabinet as to how then do we move to implementation,” Ms. Clarke said. “... We feel comfortable in doing so because not only did we learn the book sense, but we have a greater understanding of what it would mean on the ground to the individual Kittitian and Nevisian, and I think that makes the best policy approach,” she added.
The UWI team was involved in a number of areas during the design phase including proposing the benefit package; reviewing the capacity of the health system to deliver on the benefit package; and assessing the local macroeconomic system in the Federation in consideration of the financing arrangements that will be necessary.
“Good health does not come naturally. Good health is not automatic for individuals or for the country,” said Dr. Stanley Lalta, Health Financial Specialist at the St. Augustine Campus. “Good health takes effort and it also takes some investments so one must be prepared to make that kind of investment to protect your good health, to improve your good health.”
Dr. Lalta said that nationals should look at their contributions to the national health care programme as “a way of investing in your health.”
Having fulfilled their contractual mandate, the UWI team is scheduled to leave the Federation next week.
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