Chairman of the BVI Health Services Authority (BVIHSA), the Most Reverend Bishop John Cline disclosed during his appearance on the Speak Out BVI radio program that some British Virgin Islanders residing in the USVI take advantage of Peebles Hospital service that is free for locals although they don’t not contribute the Territory.
Bishop Cline announced that the persons travel from St Thomas specifically to visit the hospital: “They have a BVI passport… They have spent all their lives in the US Virgin Islands and have not made any significant contribution to the [BVI] economy.”
The Chairman of the BVIHSA said that this is an interesting situation as the Hospital cannot deny these persons the benefits to BVI citizens: “We cannot say, ‘you are not a BV Islander’. We cannot refuse you care. And you access free care and then when you get that, you go back to the US Virgin Islands.”
“So, you have all these holes in the system and all these gaps where we offer these services. We are expecting to have nurses; we are expecting to have pharmacists; we are expecting to have lab techs. But the service we offer is not reimbursed. We don’t have the revenue coming in to continue to offer the services in the best way possible,” he added.
A commentarist told The Island Sun that BV Islanders not employed in the Territory and not residing here for at least 8 months a year should pay a monthly contribution to have access to health-care. They would be entitled to health-care only after four years of paying the due contribution.