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Jan 24, 2023

N.H.I. to Roll Out to Orange Walk Shortly

The National Health Insurance was initially introduced as a pilot project in 2001, on the south side of Belize City. Contracts were extended in 2006 to public sector primary care providers in southern Belize. Then in 2012, a nutritional health component was also introduced in the south. Now, the Ministry of Health and Wellness has announced that the program will be rolled out to the Orange Walk District and its forty-five thousand residents. As a first step, the N.H.I. Executive met with healthcare providers in the district last week to familiarize them on how they can take part.


Deysi Mendez

Dr. Deysi Mendez, Technical Advisor, N.H.I

“We’re starting with a phasing approach of rolling out countrywide. So we’re starting with Orange Walk and we’re very much excited about the Orange Walk rollout because it’s a unique model that’s being worked on for the residents of the district, and it has come very much strengthened with a private-public mixed modality whereby we are able to provide improved and strengthened quality services to the residents. We have been able to take a little bit of all the lessons learned from the different modalities that we have in the south versus what we have in Corozal and versus what we have on the southside of Belize City.The rollout that we’re having here includes the private sector, and I really want to emphasize and highlight here that we’re not privatizing healthcare. We are involving private sector to be a part of the system, to be providers to care. And it really strengthens the health system when you invite private sector because they are able to fit in where public sector lacks capacity or needs or has the absence of certain specialists or certain services. For example, when we talk about mammograms, these are basic primary care screening procedures purchased by N.H.I at a negotiated price with the provider, hence opening access for women to have these services. So it’s not privatization. The private sector is not placing their prices. We are negotiating prices.”

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