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St. Lucia, W.I.

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Universal Health Care - Part of Health Sector Reform

In September 1997 the Minister of Health appointed a Health Sector Reform Committee which started the most recent Health Sector Reform process. Cabinet in December 2000 approved the policy presented in the Health Sector Reform proposal document dated March 2000.

The vision is a health sector that is designed to produce "wellness" in the comprehensive sense including mental, physical and social health. The underlying belief is that a people who are well "holistically" will be maximally productive and therefore in a position to fully develop themselves, their families, their communities and the nation. Essentially the health sector is responsible for ensuring that the most valuable national resource, the people, will be well enough to allow for maximum human resource development.

The major financial reform is the Universal Health Care (UHC) initiative.


Background of UHC

Universal Health Care (UHC) is being proposed as a supplementary financial mechanism for the health system.

It proposes to:-

* Maximise the use of health resources and create a more efficient health system capable of providing quality health services in the most effective manner.
* Reduce the impact of poverty by making health care affordable and accessible to all in need of care.
* Reduce the resource gap in health to allow for more comprehensive coverage of health needs.
* Focus resources on priority needs.
* Incorporate appropriate incentive and accountability frameworks into all provider and health worker agreements to ensure value for money.

The overall aim of the UHC is to ensure that no one in need of care will be denied access to quality health services. It is believed that the country can deliver to the people a well functioning health system driven by a robust finance mechanism. The people in turn can deliver to the country a reduced burden of disease and enhanced productivity.

 

 
 
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