EDITOR, The Tribune
NHI - we all know how desperate this is needed, but there is a problem - can we afford it based on the wages and monies left, after we pay all the taxes, supermarkets and medical expenses?
Experience tells you that the medical sector needs to be totally audited, as to how they charge what they charge. If food items are priced controlled, I certainly propose medical charges will be price controlled - I suspect in this lies the solution. If we can bring the medical costs down, then everything might become affordable.
Doctors Alliance agreement needs to be immediately cancelled. This was the sole profitable revenue source of PMH, and this has to be in the hands of PHA/PMH…why give your primary revenue source to a select few doctors? Who have profited over the years. This was a crazy decision anyway.
What sector of our community needs cover most? I suspect it might not be the obvious, those over 65, it could well be much younger and here lies an enormous problem. Create a profile.
Minister - Dr Roberts let’s start solely with catastrophic - this is the one that hurts. General cover will be horrifically abused, as it is in all other global programmes. What is the catastrophic sickness costs?
We further have to be realistic, even Minister Sands admitted that NIB is in emergency, and will need revamping, but revamping means a higher contribution level. This has to be considered together with what NHI is going to charge. NIB-NHI has to be affordable and realistic. You cannot take water out of a very dry stream!
So Minister - a forensic Audit of all Medical and Hospital Costs, let’s find out the truth - like why should facilities be charging 50% more, if you are on a group insurance against paying cash?
If this government pertains to be The People’s Government, then we have to see if what I suggest is happening. Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty of real costs of delivery of health services and work forward. Get ready to be shocked.
November 1, 2018.