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by Fernelle Neptune
The Government of Saint Lucia has begun taking steps toward achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC) with the aim of improving health systems and ensuring that affordable and quality health care is provided to Saint Lucians.
A committee comprising professionals within the Ministry of Health and professionals within the public sector met recently in a consultation focused on the development of a roadmap to outline the strategic direction of Universal Health Coverage in Saint Lucia.
Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Wellness and Elderly Affairs Jenny Daniel says this consultation will provide the opportunity for participants to develop a “white paper” which will shape the plan for the implementation of UHC.
“The white paper basically speaks to the policy, the major overriding and overarching policy that will determine how UHC is to be implemented in St. Lucia, as in what is our starting point and where is the vision, where we would like to go, the place we would like to get to in terms of the provision of our health services and the impact it will have on Saint Lucians.” So, the white paper is basically a structured document that will outline what are our goals, objectives and vision and objectives for UHC and how exactly we expect to get there. We also touched on funding or financing of the initiatives and project and exactly where we will be and giving a proper time frame for it as well.”
Jenny Daniel also highlighted that in the coming weeks, a series of consultation will be undertaken with the private sector, non-governmental organizations NGOs and client group stakeholders.
Minister for Health, Wellness and Elderly Affairs Hon. Moses Jn Baptiste spoke on his government’s commitment to improve health service coverage for the Saint Lucian population.
“We have also taken the recommendation of the ministry that we create a specific unit for the Universal Health Coverage program and we have created that unit and we are currently looking to staff that unit to ensure we have focused attention on Universal Health Coverage. We believe it is very important for the people of Saint Lucia. When we look at our disease profile and the challenges that we have in health care and also when we look at the cost of health care, we know that the people of Saint Lucia require that kind of assistance.”
Cabinet has approved the first phase of the implementation of Universal Health Coverage which will commence with the Performance Based Financing component.
SOURCE: Ministry of Health