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Dec 6, 2000

Social Security launches website

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Despite some recent confusion over just who owns the rights to Belize’s domain name, .bz, the Belize Social Security Board has boldly stepped into the digital arena with the launching of its new website. Today the board’s management outlined their plans for the site’s development.

Marta Hendrikx, P.R. Consultant, SSB

“Well, the website has seven main sections, the homepage, there’s the section called about BSSB, Belize Social Security Board, there you can find information about the functions, administration, a historical overview of what are our functions at our branches. We have nine branches countrywide. Basically that’s about BSSB. We also have and NHI section, which will be expanded as time goes by. At the moment it contains a historical overview of how the National Health Insurance concept developed. Also we have a section for employers, there we have the forms that the employers need to register as an employer or when they close a business, or when they submit contribute contributions to Social Security and any information to employers obligations to their employees. Also we have the Social Security Act in the about BSSB section.”

Narda Garcia, General Manager, SSB

“This targets employers, probably the bigger employers that have access to the Internet, the schools, secondary, tertiary, and the primary schools that usually come to Social Security to ask for information, for a project or for some research, also for employees that have computers at home and have Internet services and or work in an institution or organisation that has access to the Internet.”

Jose Sanchez

“Is it currently feasible for people to either access the benefits or make transactions with Social Security through the website?”

Narda Garcia

“That is our final objective as Mr. Solano, who is the one creating the website has said. We still have some work to do to actually have online services. What we have right now is the application forms for example or claims forms, so that you do not have to go to Social Security office to access the forms. You can download it from the Internet and print it at home or in the work place and fill them out and then go to Social Security.”

In related news Garcia responded to questions about where things stand with regard to the newly introduced National Health Insurance scheme.

Narda Garcia

?We are right now on the registration aspect of the NHI pilot project. We now have intensified the registration on the southside of Belize District. We have to underscore that it?s not only southside Belize City, it?s Belize District, encompassing the Western Highway up to Hattieville and Gales Point Manatee. The rational for that is that we want to test the model both in an urban and rural setting, so that permits us to do that. The whole geographic area, we are speaking about. We are registering presently and we are hoping that sometime next year, once we get all the registration of the users of the NHI pilot project with a card, then we will register them at the private practitioners or public practitioners level. When we get all that on the ground, we are hoping that would be around February, when we start doing contracting with the private sector.?

Garcia says that they hope to have NHI fully online with benefits to its users by March or April. As for the website, you can access it at socialsecurity.org.bz. The site was designed by Netkom Internet Solutions.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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