BVI hospital fee may be increased

By Caribbean Medical News Staff

During a meeting of the Finance Committee, Financial Secretary Neil Smith has said that the current hospital fees in the BVI need to be reviewed.

Smith made his statements while responding to the Opposition Leader Ralph O’Neal regarding how the Government intends to fund the operation of the new Peebles Hospital.

In a House of Assembly statement to the press, the release stated “The Financial Secretary stated that the National Health Insurance was meant to assist with that, but it was paramount for the current hospital fees to be reviewed.

When contacted by the press in the BVI, the Chief Executive Officer of the BVIHSA Darlene Carty-Baptiste said that the proposal for the increase “had passed” and was at review stage and that the Government was awaiting final approval.

Neil Smith indicated that the BVI Health Services Authority (BVIHSA), which manages public health facilities across the territory, was awaiting a response for its request for an increase in fees. According to reports, the BVIHSA recently applied for the increase in hospital fees in light of the skyrocketing health care costs in the territory.

Minister Ronnie Skelton who also addressed the  Standing Finance Committee meeting noted that to date the government provides up to 80% of the BVIHSA’s budget and that there was a need for a “restructuring” of the current fees.

The fee increase requested was not immediately clear.

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