$1/2b plus spent on health care

More than $1/2 billion have been spent on health care annually by Barbados within a five-year period. And millions of that was spent by individuals who dipped into their pockets to take care of their own health issues.

That’s according to the findings of an health expenditure tracking system used by the Ministry of Health between 2007 and 2012. Minister of Health John Boyce, who disclosed the findings this morning at the launch of a National Health Accounts (NHA) workshop, said the $1/2 billion figure represented expenditure from both householders and public health care.

Minister of Health John Boyce
Minister of Health John Boyce

“The five-year trend analysis also showed that while public health care expenditure represented on average 13 per cent of Central Government’s expenditure, it represented approximately 65 per cent of total health expenditure,” he said.

“This information is important because it showed that households were paying out of pocket as much as 34 per cent of total health expenditure. In other words, in 2011 and 2012, Barbadians’ out of pocket payments to private providers including physicians, dentists and hospitals totaled approximately $179 million.”

The minister said the old tracking system was being replaced by the NHA because “limitations in the system” prevented it from being used to its full capacity.

The new system, he said, would provide more precise data on health resource flows originating with the Government, households, non-governmental organizations and donors, revealing the types of inputs used by providers to produce health goods and services and deduce what type of health care goods and services were consumed by disease classification. Boyce said the health resource tracking exercise would also specifically provide Barbados with data on expenditure on HIV and non-communicable diseases.


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