Basseterre, St. Kitts (SKNIS): Legislation to introduce universal healthcare in St. Kitts and Nevis is currently being drafted by a legal expert which will then go to Cabinet for consideration.
Minister responsible for the National Health Insurance, Honourable Eugene Hamilton, told the Federal Parliament on Monday (December 20) that a legal draftsman was retained with assistance from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) to assist with the creation of the legislative framework.
“That person has been engaged since September,” Minister Hamilton said, during Day four of the Budget Debate. “And if my estimation is correct … within the first quarter of 2022, we will be in a position to present to Cabinet, and say Cabinet this is … the proposed legislation, this is the cost if you do A, if you do B, if you do C and then we will begin to determine how we implement.”
The minister said that the process was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic but the Government is committed to completing the implementation which will be a signature piece of legislation.
He added that a component of universal healthcare will strongly encourage residents of St. Kitts and Nevis to lead healthier lifestyles, particularly as it relates to diet and exercise. An education component on the nutritional value of products and those that contribute to non-communicable diseases (NCDs) will be undertaken as part of the implementation plan.