St Lucia: Chief Economist for Research and Policy in the Department of Finance of St Lucia, Janai Leonce, on 28 June 2021, informed that the upcoming National Health Insurance (NHI) scheme would guarantee the poor & vulnerable are not left behind.
Upon launch of the NHI system, he also said that the Government of Saint Lucia seeks to provide the more underprivileged elements of society with insurance coverage.
He added, “The state will subsidize the cost of coverage for those unable to afford.”
“One of the notions that the state is looking to do is where persons are poor and vulnerable and what not, to ensure that those persons are provided for with insurance policies that will allow them to access an array of services and benefits that they would otherwise not have, so care is being placed in the design of this that whatever is to be designed, the poor, the vulnerable and what have you, you will be proxy memeans-testedo ensure that they meet the requisite standards for poverty and vulnerability,”Leonce added.
He also noted that further development of the NHI system would determine the most pragmatic model to produce a public safety net.
In his further statement, he said, “One of the things we have been working with the World Bank and our other stakeholders as we are in the design element is to address which modality is best so would it be best for the state to purchase all of the policies then have persons who are poor and vulnerable receive from the state and also persons who are not poor and vulnerable who would like to purchase insurance to do that through the state as well or whether it be best to have the state simply focus on the poor and vulnerable and allow your non-poor to be able to access through their employer, through a provider of their choice or so forth. “
Notably, the final phase of NHI intends to include all demographics, including the underprivileged and persons in retirement age.