Health tax?

Head of doctors’ body proposes fund to collect $120M annually

With the financial viability of the health care system under threat, the head of the Barbados Association of Medical Practitioners (BAMP) has offered Government a rescue plan.

President Dr Carlos Chase today proposed the establishment of a Health and Education Security (HES) Fund that he said could put an estimated $120 million into Government’s coffers annually.

Under that plan, $100 would come from the approximate 100,000 workers in Barbados and paid into the HES Fund which he said should be managed and administered by the National Insurance Scheme.

He made these and other suggestions – including the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) operating on a 24-hour schedule and extended opening hours at polyclinics – as he addressed the second QEH Health Care Financing Conference at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre on the topic Financing Health Care: A New Approach.

Chase further recommended that after about five years, when the public health care system was on a better financial footing, contributions to the HES Fund could be adjusted to help pay for education and security.

For example, he explained, 60 per cent of the contributions could go to health, 20 per cent to education and 20 per cent to security.

His new approach to financing health care at the QEH also calls for the formation of a new public-private sector company.

BAMP president Dr Carlos Chase
BAMP president Dr Carlos Chase

“Right now there are patients coming into the hospital and there is a mix-match on the private and public wards . . . . It’s a bit confusing. You should separate them [public and private wards] completely. You should form a company, which should be shared, and move the hospital to 24 hours. Right now the hospital functions 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. After that, the lab shuts down, the laundry shuts down, the social services branch shuts down, administration shuts down,” he said.

“It’s a hospital; it should run 24 hours,” the medical association head declared.

The BAMP president also suggested extended opening hours be introduced at all polyclinics.

“After 4 o’clock, 5 o’clock, 6 o’clock and you go to the A&E, it’s like bedlam, because if you cannot afford private health care, there is nowhere else to go. If you go to the emergency [private] clinics you have to pay. Extend the hours of the polyclinics to take in those people,” he insisted.

He also proposed the outsourcing of some services, like engineering, to reduce the burden on the QEH.

Chase told the conference that there should also be a sharing of services delivered by the public and private sectors.

“Currently approximately 25 per cent of surgeries performed at the QEH are private . . . 20 per cent of deliveries in Barbados are private . . . . We need to get at least 50 per cent of the population out of the public service and into private care to remove the burden on Government and the social services,” added the BAMP head.

Incentives, he said, should be encouraged. Chase was of the view that electronic medical records would also help to reduce the health care costs and reduce errors.

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10 Responses to Health tax?

  1. Veroniva Boyce
    Veroniva Boyce September 27, 2014 at 7:04 am

    Health Tax? Wanna need to Tax the government for bare talk and no substance.

  2. Hassan Taylor
    Hassan Taylor September 27, 2014 at 8:21 am

    More taxes? Well I could well have stop working.

  3. Shakeira Smallz
    Shakeira Smallz September 27, 2014 at 8:30 am

    Wdh!! I sign on fb 4 de 1st time 2day n dis is what I c?!! What health tax?!! Soon enuff de government gine run de ppl off de island n into de sea. Cum on man stupsess

  4. Elke Hassell
    Elke Hassell September 27, 2014 at 10:19 am

    Why not include Shopping Tax, Water Usage Tax, Electricity Tax, Just being Alive Tax etc. etc. etc.! Barbados are you for Real?????

  5. Barker Antony
    Barker Antony September 27, 2014 at 12:18 pm

    Boss you can pay the tax!!!

  6. dwayne jordan September 27, 2014 at 12:19 pm

    Actually its a good idea, everyone pay a sm fee for the good of the whole. I enjoy the idea of who is managing it also,Nis scheme,,jus wish gov hands could stay out of nis monies more. I applaud dr chase for having a solution instead of gov officials who talk bare sssstupidness. I hv no problem paying a bit more to help a fellow citizen in need.

  7. Damien Applewhaite
    Damien Applewhaite September 27, 2014 at 4:04 pm

    Health care is something everyone uses and I think that there should be a dedicated contribution to the costs. The happiest countries in the world are the ones with efficient, well funded health care systems.

  8. Overtaxed Bajan September 28, 2014 at 8:14 am

    It is okay for Doctors to make this suggestion. Many of them receive payment for their services in cash. The rest of us are already overtaxed.

  9. Charles King September 28, 2014 at 9:09 pm

    An additional $1200 a year, on top of a solid waste tax, national insurance, and income tax, is no small imposition on someone on a fixed income.

  10. Astra September 30, 2014 at 9:10 pm

    Sit there on your BIG money, saying that WE are on the same salary as you, because that is the ONLY way you can consider that the average person can pay Land Tax, Road Tax, Health Tax, Duties on products coming into Bim, VAT, Municipal Waste Tax, buy food, pay maintenance costs and fly First Class to other countries, like you. You are having a laugh. I have yet to see what benefits any of us are receiving from this HIGH LEVEL OF TAXATION and leniency on people with large sums of money & businesses. When will the Leaders show some accountability for the doubling of taxes and the country still NEEDING to borrow money???


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