Prime Minister and Minister of Health, Dr Terrance Drew, on Wednesday joined other senior health officials in St Kitts & Nevis as well as other stakeholders at the St Kitts Marriot Resort in St Kitts and Nevis for a meeting with representatives from Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).
The key agenda of the meeting was focused on “Transforming the Health Systems of the St Kitts & Nevis with a focus on Health Financing.” Among the key subjects that were part of the discussions included Universal Health Insurance and the building of the new smart hospital.
While addressing, PM Drew highlighted the vision of the Government of providing affordable as well as quality healthcare within the Federation, with the “ultimate goal” being “to empower the health system and to ensuring health services accessible to all.”
In his opening remarks, PM Drew said that, “My Government is committed on achieving Universal Health Coverage(UHC) where by people of the Federation have access to the complete range of quality health services without financial hardship. Its our sole aim to ultimately offer the full continuum of required healthcare facilities like health promotion, preventive services, treatment, rehabilitative as well as palliative services. This is my 1st term and 1st budget cycle, and I’m already increasing public financing and health.”
PM Drew has further informed the attendees that, “in 2023, we will be stepping onto one of the biggest capital projects undertaken in health sector, the erection of brand new, smart hospital, one in which structural and operational safety are linked along with the relevant green interventions to assure disaster resilience.”
Meanwhile, Dr Drew mentioned that, “It’s the obligation of the Health Ministry and the Government to implement a strong health insurance scheme that has been assuring equitable and universal access for all of the people of St Kitts and Nevis to an acceptable package of health services in a phased way, assuring efficiency in the delivery of health services, which includes the improvement of procurement processes for drugs, health supplies as well as equipment, and for the elimination of direct payment at the point of care that most acts as a barrier to access.
At the same time, he also reinforced the importance of fostering partnerships adding that it is important that regional partners like PAHO are actively involved ensuring that the national objective is achieved.