NHI stakeholder Sensitization Sessions start next week

Minister of Health, Social Affairs and Labour Emil Lee


PHILIPSBURG – The Ministry of VSA is currently in the process of organizing a stakeholders sensitization session on National Health Insurance (NHI).

The sessions begin next week Monday, January 23, and will be facilitated by Professor Wynand van de Ven at Erasmus University in Rotterdam, with extensive knowledge and experience in health insurance and Dr. Stanley Lalta, who is a researcher at the University of the West Indies (UWI) with special interests in the area of health financing.

Professor van de Ven has a vast wealth of knowledge on sustainable health care financing as well as experience with implementing National Health Insurance plans within the Kingdom. Dr. Lalta is a health economist with over 20 years of research, consulting, teaching and direct public health policy experience in the Caribbean.

NHI week includes a full week of activities commencing with an internal work session with Dr. van de Ven and Dr. Lalta; informative sessions with Council of Ministers, Parliament, and advisory councils; meetings with health care providers, health care institutions, and stakeholders such as the SHTA; a capacity building training session in health economics with internal stakeholders; and then the two-day conference on Thursday, January 26, and Friday, January 27, at Divi Little Bay Resort.

The objective of NHI week is to increase awareness about the need for national health insurance, inform stakeholders about the progress, and ultimately come to a consensus on the fundamentals of National Health Insurance and the plan to move forward.

At the conference, a situational analysis of the current health care system will be presented, along with experiences from guest speakers from neighbouring islands with regard to their country’s experience with NHI. In addition, stakeholders will have the opportunity to engage in discussions about the current draft NHI proposal.

Invitations have been sent to representatives from the private sector, including unions and health insurance providers, health care providers, and various representatives from the Government entities.

“I encourage those who have been invited to come out and be a part of the discussion. I would like to thank the team who has worked very hard on making this week possible. We are delighted and look forward to having Dr. van de ven and Dr. Lalta assist us with the process of designing a National Health Insurance Program that fits the needs of the country,” stated Minister of Health Emil Lee.