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Jan 5, 2022

Changes to National Health Insurance Following Pandemic Cuts

Ramon Figueroa

Like government departments across the nation, the National Health Insurance’s budget was reduced at the onset of the pandemic.  This no doubt affected the quality of healthcare the most vulnerable population was able to receive.  Their budget has since been reinstated, which has led to certain modifications. Dr. Figueroa shared further details about the future of this most important fund. 


Dr. Ramon Figueroa, General Manager, National Health Insurance

“Remember, every department, every Ministry went through some cut backs. Initially, it was on the news that we have cut NHI and that was not true. We had to cut down on some services, but the clinical services and access to people in the area where N.H.I. is functional was still there. We had to make some minor adjustment. Subsequent to that, our budget was increased once again, and what we have done was modify the way we are implementing. For example, in the South, now we contract the ultrasounds or prenatal care. Where before, it was up to the clinics to do the contracting with whoever was available there, at a higher. So for us, we reduce the price, because we contract the provider to provide the ultrasound for prenatal care, and we can monitor the quality. In the North, we are in the process of involving the private sector in some of the clinics that were not performing in the past. So, for example, in Chunox we have involved a private sector provider to provide the kind of clinical service for that whole geographical area. So, we are redistributing, our operational cost has not gone up.”

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