ST. GEORGE’S: Minister of Health, Senator Ann Peters, has announced that “significant work” has been completed in setting up a national health insurance program for Grenada.
The work has included the submission of a report by consultant Professor Karl Theodore of the University of the West Indies.
“By next year, we should have a national health insurance program on the ground in Grenada,” Peters said. “I think government can make a formal statement on when it’s going to roll out (the program) and what it is going to require of us as a people.”
Peters said Grenada is studying the national health insurance models of Antigua, Dominica and the British Virgin Islands, and considering what will be contained in the “basket of goods” that will comprise the local health insurance plan.
“You may have to decide what are the services you are going to include in that package,” said Peters. “Antigua seems to have a really well laid out program. They have different tiers.”
The four-year-old Grenada government, which has been criticized by many for not generating meaningful economic and social progress since coming to office in 2008, is expected to call general elections in the next few months.
At a public rally in June, Finance Minister Nazim Burke said that more than $688 million had been raised to undertake economic and social projects.
He said government does not intend to hand over the money to opposition leader, Dr Keith Mitchell, to spend with his New National Party (NNP).
The NNP was in power for 13 consecutive years until it was defeated in the 2008 general elections by the National Democratic Congress (NDC).
The NDC won 11 of 15 seats. However, four of the elected MPs have since resigned from government, and a fifth was fired in January by Prime Minister Tillman Thomas. All five former ministers were expelled from the NDC at its November 30 annual convention.