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Controversial NHI scheme to begin Jan 2015 – Roy Barry

- NHI provides no coverage for herbal or natural remedies
Deputy Director of the Social Security Board Mr Roy Barry said private insurers are on board with the NHI. Photo: VINO/File
Talk show host Donald E. De Castro asked whether the NHI covers herbal or natural remedies. Photo: VINO/File
Talk show host Donald E. De Castro asked whether the NHI covers herbal or natural remedies. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – The National Health Insurance scheme should be operational by January 2015 and according to Deputy Director of the Social Security Board Mr Roy Barry, private insurers are set to be on board with it and will be offering options to allow persons to continue their private insurance to supplement what the NHI is offering.

Barry was last night June 4, 2014 speaking as a guest on the show Straight Talk with Mr. Donald E. De Castro aired on ZBVI 780 AM.

“Currently we have 60 percent of the population who are uninsured. The 40 percent who are insured, most of them are insured through their employers. The employers will decide if they will continue to have the private health insurance along with the public health insurance,” he said.

Barry pointed out that supplementary private insurance can also supplement what the NHI will be providing. “They can have a supplementary insurance with a private insurance company which will be a top up to what we have and it will cover the difference in what we offer and the level that they had before,” said Barry.

“So far we have been able to have discussions with all of the private insurance companies and they have had the opportunity to look at our benefits package to see what exactly we’re offering so that they have an idea as to what they can offer to supplement what we have,” he said.

“If we design this system to look after only the persons who cannot afford private insurance it will not be sustainable, because the persons who cannot afford private health insurance are the persons in the lower income bracket,” said Barry.

De Castro sought to find out how the NHI would benefit those who rely on herbal remedies for their health care needs. “I don’t put drugs in my body. I would go and find a bush or a herb or something for that. If I am paying insurance to you am I going to benefit by getting my herbs that I want to cure me or will I have to take drugs to make me sicker?” asked De Castro.

“We don’t cover [herbal or natural cures] but what we will do is pay for your doctor visits,” stated Barry in response to De Castro’s inquiry.

Asked when the programme will come on stream, Barry said, “Currently we are still working on the final logistics of the NHI. Based on how far we are it looks like January of 2015.”

28 Responses to “Controversial NHI scheme to begin Jan 2015 – Roy Barry”

  • shelia (05/06/2014, 09:01) Like (16) Dislike (3) Reply
    Tis ting going bankrupt small business another ndp tax
  • Knock knock (05/06/2014, 09:04) Like (12) Dislike (1) Reply
    “If we design this system to look after only the persons who cannot afford private insurance it will not be sustainable, because the persons who cannot afford private health insurance are the persons in the lower income bracket,” said Barry.

    Mr. Barry this is the problem, you said it loud and clear. Fix the low income bracket and stop trying to bring down the people who are struggling to hold on.
    • @ Knock knock (05/06/2014, 09:53) Like (4) Dislike (3) Reply
      Maybe instead of playing the game of mudslinging, maybe the critics should come up with concrete ideas.
    • wtf? (05/06/2014, 10:12) Like (22) Dislike (3) Reply

      How do you 'fix' a low income bracket? There will be low income in any society stop talking bulls..t. A good way to fix it would be to bring back the tiered tax system where the people making the most money pay more in taxes thereby Government has monies to care for the less fortunate and lower income. But if Government were to advocate for that then all hell would broke loose. It seems everybody think Government has this magic wand somewhere. Essentially, WE ARE THE GOVERNMENT! Whatever we want to see happen, we must be a part of it. What you say about fixing the lower bracket makes no sense if it doesn't mean the people that make more are willing to pay more.

  • BVIslander (05/06/2014, 09:17) Like (14) Dislike (4) Reply
    A next Death Sentence from the NDP Government.
  • Native Boy (05/06/2014, 09:58) Like (12) Dislike (4) Reply
    Our political system needs a revamp, as our existing political parties need to be replaced. Our politicians no longer look out small people and what we need, but for their own personal gain/power and the power of their party
  • Not2Sure (05/06/2014, 10:04) Like (5) Dislike (2) Reply
    I am not optimistic about his chances of the NHO sucess
  • Fly (05/06/2014, 10:09) Like (12) Dislike (2) Reply
    The people and small businesses across the BVI said we do not and cannot afford this NHI right now however they don't care about our views and have done their level best to bring back and passed something rejected by the people but this is another reason for the quick and possible the demise of THE NDP
  • LOL (05/06/2014, 10:10) Like (8) Dislike (1) Reply
    Which insurance provides coverage for natural or herbal remedies? LMAO! Why was that included as if it's some big lost that's currently covered? The medical industry is a cartel and they would never let herbal treatment be a part of their plans. WHY? Herbal/Natural medicines actually CURE! Medication 'treats' symptoms and keeps you coming back for more 'treatment' which means more money. If you are cured then how will they make money off you? Anyway, good luck with that! If they don't want NHI, tell them cart their ass when they fall and buss their heads and their insurance tells them sorry we won't pay. Everybody want to use the Govt. piggy bank but when it comes time to drop in a quart it's carnage.
  • bush doctor (05/06/2014, 10:15) Like (6) Dislike (4) Reply

    This thing is a set up to benefit the p..ple medical complex alone.

  • Senseless (05/06/2014, 10:17) Like (14) Dislike (6) Reply
    Barry I know at the end of the day you are doing your job but you know and I know that this is NOT going to work in the BVI.

    This is totally identifying the rich, middle class if any, and poor which is in abundance.

    Ronnie have you going nuts trying to implement an Obama Care type of insurance here but it will cripple our purse.

    Ronnie have money so he can afford any kind of insurance he want.
  • US (05/06/2014, 10:35) Like (8) Dislike (3) Reply
    Obama care doesn't even work here, it has been and it will be a disaster....It's what happens when you try to put textbook philosophy into practice.....
  • polo (05/06/2014, 10:51) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
    The NDP is like the republicans; Banks too big to fail; but they do not care about small business. As the NHI will kill many small businesses who now cannot afford their SS and taxes...yet another example of a government with no clue of what a business system is...come fast Hon. Fraser we need people who under stands how the economy works .
  • please (05/06/2014, 11:09) Like (4) Dislike (8) Reply
    You all saying NDP but this was totally supported by Ralph and started under the VIP last Government so stop with the nonsense please.
  • Really... (05/06/2014, 11:09) Like (13) Dislike (2) Reply
    A tax on your income that will cost more per month then private insurance and offer less, sounds like the usual bvi ill thought plans. This will destroy the private medical industry in the BVI because nobody wants to pay for two medical plans and the gov is forcing theirs on you...
  • JACK BE STILL (05/06/2014, 11:13) Like (10) Dislike (2) Reply
    Nhi another way to tax the poor
  • Real! (05/06/2014, 11:17) Like (12) Dislike (3) Reply
    This needs to go out to referendum and if the people vote against it then leave them for the Private Insurance Companies to continue to rape them. SIMPLE! If NDP had any sense, they will put this thing out to a vote and let the cards fall where they may, despite all the monies spent thus far. Since the people think they know best, let them continue. They talk as though the current system of private insurance is any better than NHI. You go to the doctor, show your card, they charge you the 20% and you leave feeling good. Then 2 months later you are called by the doctor office saying you have a bill of $2k because insurance didn't cover it.
  • pat (05/06/2014, 12:18) Like (3) Dislike (2) Reply
    Some body benifiting and tis not the People
  • mother hen (05/06/2014, 12:28) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
    Heaven forbid the truth, if NDP return to power
  • barry say you will hear (05/06/2014, 12:42) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    Follow the money, not the talk
  • Burden (05/06/2014, 13:05) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    This whole thing is just to transfer the government's responsibilities to the citizens of this territory. Sorry, but it is my view that it is a government's responsibility to cover the basic social needs of its territory such as health, education, care for the elderly, etc. STOP THE MISMANAGEMENT OF FUNDS AND TAKE CARE OF YOUR PEOPLE. Blatant mismanagement of funds is the primary reason that the various governments are having difficulties providing for the social needs of its citizens. Until we can see TRANSPARENT governing and BETTER ACCOUNTABILITY of public funds, there will be no sympathy from this voter to embrace this additional tax burden.
  • Looking on (05/06/2014, 13:42) Like (10) Dislike (0) Reply
    I am yet to understand what the objective of this it to generate revenue streams for the government..then apply an across the board tax, don't hide it in something as critical as healthcare, this is not something to play with!! the consequences will be dire if it fails. If it is to address the issue of the 40% without healthcare, why ot create a scheme SPECIFCALLY for them, and not force employers and employees to decide between a cut rate public healthcare system or a premium private healthcare program...or worse yet, being forced to pay into two schemes just to cover yourself and family. I mean, cmon guys, at least run a pilot program and see what the results show you, you can't get a feel for the full implications from showing a power point and running an excel spreadsheet, this is serious business!!
  • barbie (05/06/2014, 14:19) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
    This scheme is the height so BS!
    You are asking me to pay for something that will benefit thee territory and not an individual. My health insurance will cover everyone in the territory? Including the lazy ones that don't decide to get up off their rump to find a job? I am already feeding the prisoners with my tax payers money and now you want me to take care of them by providing health care? Why not ask me to adopt them and done?
    Our health insurance already covers our immediate depends here or abroad are you asking us to abort that and pick up NHI that only covers dependents living in the territory? This here as I see it, is only to benefit the territory and not an individual.
  • voter (05/06/2014, 20:47) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    Is this North Korea or Communist China where the government does as they please despite the pleas of the people? Stop the waste and mismanagement at the hospital or this fund will be bled dry!

    National Done-Deal Party strikes again!
  • What? (05/06/2014, 23:40) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Ok, BVI Islanders don't need health insurance. Just boil some bush tea and pray to Bishop Cline. Oh and give him your 10%. Then you will be fine.
  • AC 360 (06/06/2014, 11:52) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    The foolish people go vote for this government, now they will pay the price!!!
  • Scary Mary (06/06/2014, 17:36) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    This socialist health scheme represents everything I abhor about politics and politicians.

    The NHI is a tragic case of the blind leading the blind in a massive money grab. The government doesn't have a clue what they are up against and mark my words, people who think they are covered for this, that and the other thing, will soon learn that their health insurance doesn't cover nearly what they think it should. We will still be digging into our pockets to cover all sorts of "extra" costs.

    The hospital is testimony to this governments ability to manage costs. Their "vision" for the well being of all BVIslanders has already become a major burden to us all and the NHI is only going to add to that burden.

    Good luck to all of us, we are really going to need it. Hopefully, at some point down the road, another government will somehow manage to fix the mess we are all about to find ourselves in!

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