Health Minister Says Dispensary Fee Was a Clerical Error

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Minister for Health and Social Development, Hon. Ronnie Skelton confirmed that there were no changes to the fee structures at the BVI Health Services Authority (BVIHSA), and that the recent billing of seniors for medication was caused by a glitch in the system of the BVIHSA. Hon. Skelton made the announcement in the House of Assembly during the questions and answers segment on 20 March.

First District Representative, Hon. Andrew Fahie queried the billing of the seniors, and asked the Minister: “Why is it that even after seniors are told that legally health care including medication is free, they are being charged a $2.50 fee for medication?”

In response Hon Skelton confirmed that residents who are 65 years and older, are not required to pay for healthcare services provided by the BVI Health Services Authority, including medicines dispensed.

However the Health Minister explained that there was a mishap which resulted in the error: “Due to a clerical error, a dispensary fee of $2.00 was applied to seniors filling prescriptions over a two-week period following the introduction of the new Fee Schedule.  This situation has since been addressed and seniors who are residents of the Territory, as defined in the Hospital Regulations, are no longer being charged a dispensary fee. Non-residents and visitors are required to pay a dispensary fee of $2.50,” Hon. Skelton stated.

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