Conway Business Centre
St. Lucia, W.I.
Tel: (758) 452-6756
Fax: (758) 453-7668
Also: Issues Raised During Meetings between Pharmacies,
Doctors, Insurance Companies and Pharmaceutical Importers and the
St. Lucia Chamber of Commerce Industry and Agriculture to discuss
the Universal Health Care System. Click
is Universal Health Care (UHC)?
Universal Health Care (UHC) is a health programme that will
provide all residents with equal access to quality health services
defined in a published package of services and benefits. It
is also a supplemental system of financing.
- Why is UHC being offered now?
It is important for you to have access to quality health care
regardless of your financial status such as where you live or
how much income that you earn.
It is also necessary for us to improve the quality of health
care at our hospitals and other health care institutions.
- Why should I be interested in UHC?
You should be interested in UHC because it will provide essential
health benefits once you are registered. It also aims to achieve
the principle of solidarity. This means that the high income
earners will support the low income earners, the healthy will
support the sick and the young will support senior members of
- How will UHC work?
The process of providing you with quality health care under
this new system is an easy one. To access the health benefits
offered you must first be registered with UHC. When you do so,
you will be given a UHC registration card with your photograph
and registration number. You will receive information on place
and time of registration at a later date.
You will be registered at a general hospital depending on
your permanent home address or where you work. This hospital
which is your registered provider will be responsible for
your hospital services. However, if you have an emergency
you can access the closest emergency room. This way, if you
fall sick or need urgent medical attention getting treatment
will be onvenient by saving you time.
Drugs included in the published UHC package are provided
at all participating pharmacies and you have access to this
medication under UHC coverage.
To qualify for services under UHC you must:
a St. Lucian or non-national residing in the country for
at least six (6) months of the year in which you are seeking
may not qualify?
The following persons may not qualify to receive services offered
- a Saint
Lucian who permanently resides overseas
to Saint Lucia such as tourists and diplomats
services will I benefit from?
Through UHC you will benefit from the following services:
services are further divided into out patient and hospital
services. The primary out patient services you will benefit
consultations by referral
services that will be offered include:
institutions will provide service?
The two general hospitals, the Victoria Hospital and the
St. Jude's Hospital will be the main service providers.
However, private health care institutions may be entitled
to become providers of services under UHC by meeting certain
criteria and becoming registered.
may I do if I am dissatisfied with the service?
You will have the right to make a complaint if you are
dissatisfied with the service provided to you. There will
be a chain of command for making your complaint orally
or in writing. It starts with your service provider. The
court is the last place that you can address your complaint
if you have gone through the other options in the order
that they appear below:
service provider (hospital)
Universal Health Care Office
Ministry of Health
there be penalties for persons who abuse the UHC system?
Yes. There will be penalties under the law to deal with
persons or providers who abuse the system. Examples of
access to the system such as hospital records
to pharmaceuticals that have not been prescribed by
a doctor and that you do not need
referrals by health care workers.
types of illnesses will UHC cover?
Various illnesses that are common in Saint Lucia, such
as those associated with Diabetes and Hypertension will
be covered under UHC. You can refer to the list of services,
common illnesses, essential pharmaceuticals and essential
overseas care for more information.
- What types of illnesses will
not be covered?
. Illnesses that are not included on the list of services
will not be covered under UHC. The objective of UHC is
to provide the best health care possible for all beneficiaries.
- How much coverage will I receive?
You will receive limited coverage in the areas included
in the list of the services that UHC will offer. Please
refer to the list.
- Will I be covered for visits to private doctors?
No. You will not be refunded for visits to your private
doctor. If you have private medical insurance you can
settle payment of your doctor's fees with that insurance
company. However, if you fill your prescription at a pharmacy
registered with UHC you will receive free medication if
your medication is included on the list of pharmaceutical
covered by UHC.
will not be covered by UHC?
The following will not be covered by UHC:
to your private doctor;
lab tests and x-rays;
to a hospital that is not your provider.
health coverage included in my National Insurance Corporation
No.The 5% deduction from your salary for National Insurance
covers your pension, invalidity and sickness benefits.
The NIC in-patient hospital benefit was a special arrangement
with the government.
The current arrangement where the NIC
contributes $3 million annually to the Consolidated
Fund comes to an end when UHC starts.
- Can't I get the same coverage
for less with private insurance companies?
It is very unlikely that you would be able to calculate
a cost of your specific contributions to UHC since payment
for UHC is based on a flat tax on the consumption of goods
which is different from individual premiums paid for private
UHC is universal and lifelong based on your status
as a resident as compared to private insurance which
has a limit and based on payment of premiums.
- What will happen to the coverage for health
insurance that I already have?
With the introduction of UHC the insurance companies will
adjust their coverage to include benefits not offered
by UHC. Therefore, you may continue paying for private
insurance. It is your choice.
will happen if I need to seek treatment overseas?
The UHC system includes a limited package of overseas
care. We are in the process of negotiating with specific
countries and will provide you with more information on
- Who must pay for treatment overseas?
UHC will cover the cost of treatment overseas only if
the hospital has referred you to an overseas provider.
However, if you decide to visit a specialist overseas
without referral from UHC you must pay the overseas specialist
and other related services.
options may I have to seek additional health insurance?
If you can afford you should continue to have private
insurance coverage for medical treatment not covered by
does one access the system?
Remember you can only access hospital service:
a referral from your private doctor;
A referral from a health center, polyclinic or district
you have an emergency;
If you have registered;
If you have your UHC identification card with you.
will UHC be funded?
UHC will be funded with a fixed flat tax on the consumption
of goods in St Lucia.
- How much is the fixed tax?
The fixed tax is a 3.5% - 4% increase to the environmental
levy which is now 1%-1.5%. The name will change to health
and environmental levy and will now be charged at 5%.
Please remember that basic goods such as food and clothing
are exempt from this tax.
- Will the Health and Environmental Levy fund
100% of UHC?
No. The Health and Environmental Levy will raise about
EC$30 million. This is about 50% of the funds required
for the UHC. The other 50% will be provided by Government
which would be its existing contributions to the hospitals.
should you always do?
your UHC identification card in your purse or wallet
your UHC card to the attending nurse or doctor. He
or she will check the records speedily on the computer
to confirm your registration.
your practitioner, polyclinic or health centre first
when you do not need urgent care
the referral letter given to you to the hospital at
which you are registered if you need further medical
your medication as prescribed by the pharmacist.
you should never do?
someone else to use your UHC registration card
to change the information on your UHC card or deface
present any false documents at a polyclinic, health
centre or hospital
obtain or use medication that is not prescribed for
you by a doctor
collect medication and store them for future use.
will you get?
for life-threatening illnesses and other illnesses
prescribed only by your doctor
letter of referral to follow-up your condition with
your doctor, district hospital, polyclinic or health
centre when you are discharged from the hospital
opportunity to make a complaint if you are dissatisfied
with the service