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Jul 9, 2020

N.H.I.’s Budget Cut

Last week, we reported on the cuts at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where Doctors Fernando Cuellar and Amin Hegar have been terminated.  Tonight, we can confirm that the National Health Insurance Programme is also suffering from budget cutbacks.  Executive Chairman, Doctor Ramon Figueroa says that the budget cuts are due to the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Doctor Figueroa, the cut is fifteen percent and as such an adjustment to services was necessary, which means that treatment will be provided on a first come, first serve basis.  Figueroa says that a ceiling has also been placed on the number of clients who receive services and when that is maxed, others will need to pay.  But priority will be given to clients suffering from chronic diseases. According to Figueroa, since N.H.I.’s budget is determined on a month to month basis, the situation remains fluid.


On the Phone: Dr. Ramon Figueroa, Executive Chairman, N.H.I.

“We have had to make adjustments to the services that are being provided countrywide under the National Health Insurance and I think given the present situation, the economic situation with the country I don’t see how people would have not understood that we would have had to make some adjustments. Our budget has been cut just like everybody else but we have not closed down the services. The services are available. In fact right now we are in the process of looking at the exact number of let’s say pharmaceuticals, lab and imaging services that we will be able to provide. Because that is what is being affected really, the number of medications, lab tests and the number of imaging services that we can provide at the clinic. It is not that NHI has closed down and it is not that the services are not available. It is really first come first serve. When they reach the cap afterwards then people will have to pay for it. So we have a certain number that we can provide for. We didn’t get the exact budget ceiling until about a week or two ago that we knew exactly what our budget ceiling is and even that is from month to month basis. We were told that on a month to month basis they can commits to certain amount that we are getting at this time but depending on the economic situation it may have to change.”

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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