NHI GM discusses roll out in Orange Walk District
Plans are well underway to include Orange Walkeños in the National Health Insurance Scheme. The idea is to ensure that thousands of the district’s residents register and access various services at a subsidized cost. An investment of seven million dollars is being made to bring this to fruition, and according to the scheme’s general manager, Dr. Ramon Figueroa, there will be services offered to golden citizens as well.
Dr.Ramon Figueroa, General Manager: “The $7 million is a projected figure to cover I think we can manage with $7 million and that $7 million is an additional to cover the roll out in Orange Walk and anybody who works with finances and budget knows that when you do projections you built in assumptions. One assumption obviously is from day one we’re covering 100% of the population which probably won’t happen but we can’t predict how fast we will register people so you need to project on a hundred percent coverage and you’re talking based on SIB estimates about 49,000 additional persons in Orange Walk. We think it’s higher by the way but that’s the projected figures that we have, we think it’s closer to 60,000 the population in that area so those are assumptions that we built in. The other assumption is that we have built in also the cost – remember we work on a contract basis and it’s based on how we negotiate prices but we built in those cost estimates and projections, inflation because if we use the figures that we’ve been suing in the south side we haven’t changed the prices since 2001 so in the projection for Orange Walk we built in some inflation figures in there and the other things we’re trying to do in Orange Walk is we want to set up also a clinic for the elderly just like Mercy Clinic that would be the second one in the country. If you haven’t visited Mercy Clinic I invite you all to visit it, the facility doesn’t look very impressive but the service that is being provided to the elderly there is incredible it’s one of the model services in the whole Caribbean actually and we want to build a similar one in Orange Walk. Now the cost to provide services for the elderly is three times the cost of what it costs to provide normal individuals so that’s built in as well and there will be an initial investment cost to help – we’re working with Help Age by the way to help Help Age set up their facility they’ve already identified an area, they have a building but we need to do investment in that building to make it adequate for the standards that we expect to provide services to the elderly.”