Steps to bring the National Health Insurance System (NHI) on stream continue, Minister for Health and Social Development Hon. Ronnie Skelton stated on 17 December. The Minister while speaking at the opening of the new Peebles Hospital told residents: “The NHI will provide improved access to health services, financial risk protection, and improved health outcomes for all the people of the Virgin Islands.”
Hon. Skelton announced that the NHI continues to be viewed in dollars and cents, but he said that the economic benefits are seldom referred to: “The NHI will generate revenues that will be reinvested in strengthening our domestic health system towards that world-class standard that we aspire to…But more importantly, the NHI is about ensuring that all the services that I speak of are accessible to everyone in time of sickness and injury, regardless of their ability to pay,” the Minister noted.
The Health Minister also announced that in October of this year the Social Security Board signed an Agreement with Plexis Healthcare Systems for the supply and installation of the software for the NHI Information System, as well as for implementation, training, support and maintenance services. The IT system, he said is expected to be fully installed by the end of March 2015.
The National Health Insurance (NHI) legislation, was highly perused, heavily debated, and passed with amendments in the House of Assembly on 8 April, 2014.