NHI GM says tendering process to choose the scheme’s clinics in OW will be ‘transparent’
While the Ministry of Health and Wellness and SSB are partnering in the rollout of the National Health Insurance Scheme in Orange Walk District, there has not been a final decision yet on what clinics will be involved in the scheme. NHI General Manager, Dr. Ramon Figueroa, confirmed that interested parties submitted applications by yesterday’s deadline. What’s next? A thorough examination of the bids followed by a painstaking assessment. Dr. Figueroa discussed the protracted process with the media yesterday.
Dr.Ramon Figueroa, General Manager: “First we went in to explain to them how it works because I don’t think a lot of people still don’t understand how it works and then we explain – because we did a geographic distribution of the Orange Walk district by zones and populations so that look at access in the north part of Orange Walk where will be the best clinic to deal with the access for that part, the south, the west, the east and even the town itself was divided into two municipal north and south. So once we did that geographic and population distribution actually we didn’t do it ourselves we had people from Orange Walk, SIB, the town council people, the Ministry of Health people who know the population movement, assist us creating those geographic and population distributions. Then we advertised and said alright these are the zones who is interested in providing clinical services what we call primary care provider services in the zones that we have identified. Pharmaceutical services, lab services and imaging service which would be the x rays. So we have a timeline, we advertised on the media, we did the presentations first in Orange Walk, we advertised in the media, in social media as well and then we gave a timeline then we went in looked at all those who expressed interest and then we went in to do an assessment to the facilities because you could apply as a pharmacy but if you don’t have the standards and the quality then you cannot be included. So we’ve done that initial phase, the other phase now is for them to submit proposals as to how are they going to provide the services based on the standards and requirements of the National Health Insurance and those proposals are going to be submitted by the 15th which is Wednesday so we’re going up north to pick up those proposals, ensure that they’re sealed, delivered, lock them up and then next week we start the process of evaluating proposals.”
The tender committee will consider all applications, and after a final decision is made on which clinics will be included in the scheme, the registration process for those who will eventually access services will begin. Dr. Figueroa added that the accepted tenders will go through a rigorous but transparent process.
Dr.Ramon Figueroa, General Manager: “We want to ensure that there’s transparency and that there’s no questions asked about us bypassing or favoring any particular provider so we will go through that phase then there will be a team that will do an assessment of the clinics, assessments of the pharmacy, labs and imaging and then a selection with the scoring system and then a selection process. Once we have identified the providers let’s say with the clinics the primary ones are the clinics. Once we have identified then we start the process of registration of people in that area so the north side of Orange Walk will have a defined geography so we’ll have to advertise now in public and tell people this is the provider in your area start registering. The registration process requires that you register with Social Security first so you have to have a social security number and then you register with the provider so you need to go to the provider and say I belong to the clinic and then they can start accessing services but we will negotiate a contract before that and then we start paying based on the number of people registered with them.”