Some of the medical service providers have been tweaking their prices since the implementation of the National Health Insurance (NHI), and at least two Legislators have asked for measures to stop such a practice.
At Large Representative and Junior Minister of Tourism Hon. Archibald Christian announced that he is saddened to hear of the occurrence and stated that the changing of prices can affect the NHI system.
“I have been hearing unfortunately that there are some providers that have started to increase their rates, and that is something that we have to guard against,” Hon. Christian told the House of Assembly.
The Junior Minister of Tourism explained that the NHI system was designed specifically around certain rates and when people begin to tinker with the rates it could throw the system out of synch.
“We have to ensure that the providers who are utilizing the system, who are billing their clients and their customers are not taking advantage of the system by trying to increase their rates so that they can receive better payment,” the At Large Representative stated.
Hon. Christian said that Minister for Health and Social Development Hon. Ronnie Skelton and the staff of the National Health Insurance Office are very concerned about the matter.
Meanwhile, Ninth District Representative, Dr. the Hon. Hubert O’Neal, who also said that he heard of the tweaking of prices, warned the medical providers that their actions will have consequences.
“I also must express my displeasure at my medical colleagues, who are attempting to fleece the National Health Insurance system by jacking up their fees charged to patients. Now that they know that it is widespread, I urge my colleagues to have a conscience,” Hon. O’Neal, MD, stated.
He added: “This is a wonderful scheme that will certainly help to make our citizens healthy and productive people, and I admonish you to not try to undermine the scheme for you will suffer in the long term.”