Friday, June 21, 2024

National Health Insurance coming to San Pedro in July

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Belize’s National Health Insurance Program (NHI) is set to roll out in San Pedro Town and Caye Caulker Village in July of this year. Established in 2000 through an amendment to the Social Security Act, the integral healthcare program is slowly being implemented nationwide. The announcement that the NHI will soon be available to island residents was made during the ground-breaking ceremony of the San Pedro and Caye Caulker General Hospital on Friday, March 1st.
The NHI pilot project was first offered to residents of the south side of Belize City in August 2021. The program grew and was implemented in the wider Belize City community, Orange Walk Town and Corozal Town in the following years. Recently, NHI was introduced at four clinics in the southern districts of Stann Creek and Toledo. The program allows registered members to obtain medical services from select healthcare providers for a fraction of the regular price or free in some instances.

Mayor Gualberto “Wally” Nunez

During his speech at the ground-breaking ceremony, San Pedro Town Mayor Gualberto “Wally” Nunez spoke about what he believes is a “remarkable opportunity” for the island community. “This program aims to provide assessable and affordable primary health care services to all Belizeans regardless of their financial status. This is a tremendous milestone towards obtaining universal healthcare in Belize. The NHI will give San Pedro residents access to quality care services, improving their overall health and well-being,” said Nunez.
The NHI is part of Belize’s current GOB’s Health Sector Reform process. The NHI reform promoted the separation of the key functions of the regulator, provider, and purchaser of health services. The Ministry of Health and Wellness (MoHW) regulates health services in Belize. Through the NHI, the MoHW is responsible for purchasing services from pre-approved registered providers and ensuring that services rendered meet the requirements stipulated in the contractual agreements. Some services available to Belizeans under the NHI include diagnosing and managing hypertension, diabetes, Asthma, HIV/AIDS, pre and post-natal monitoring, tuberculosis treatment, acute illnesses management, breast and cervical and prostate cancer screening, and epidemiological surveillance. Additionally, as the program continues to roll out, the following specialist services are included: ophthalmology, including diabetic eye exams, diabetic laser surgery, cataract surgery, eyeglasses for school-age children post-cataract surgery, and deliveries.

Prime Minister, Honorable John Briceno

“We have worked tirelessly to expand the NHI across the country. The start of the NHI in San Pedro and Caye Caulker is good news for Belize Rural South. I ask each and every resident to take this opportunity and register. It’s a wonderful program, and we are working towards assisting every single man, woman, and child to have access to affordable primary health care,” said Prime Minister Honorable John Briceno about the NHI.
Once the NHI is available in San Pedro, residents can easily register at any of the designated clinics. The documentation needed for the registration process includes a valid social security card, notarized proof of an address by a Justice of the Peace, and a declaration for all family members living at the same residence. The NHI will be available to children and adults with a valid Belizean social security card.
For more information on the NHI program, visit their website at www.nhi.bz

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