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Health Minister explains free medication issue at Peebles

- says issues being worked out
Health Minister Hon. Ronnie W. Skelton attempted to diffuse the controversy surrounding allegations made that free medication was being paid for at the Peebles Hospital. Photo: VINO
A resident questioned whether residents were indeed required to pay for prescription medication that was previously distributed free of cost. Photo: VINO
A resident questioned whether residents were indeed required to pay for prescription medication that was previously distributed free of cost. Photo: VINO
An infuriated Edmund Maduro said he was going to look into the matter with urgency since legislation needed to be amended before the hospital could have charged for medication for senior citizens and children. Photo: VINO/File
An infuriated Edmund Maduro said he was going to look into the matter with urgency since legislation needed to be amended before the hospital could have charged for medication for senior citizens and children. Photo: VINO/File
According to the Health Minister, under current legislation, seniors are supposed to be given prescription drugs prescribed by doctors at the hospital for free. Photo: VINO/File
According to the Health Minister, under current legislation, seniors are supposed to be given prescription drugs prescribed by doctors at the hospital for free. Photo: VINO/File
SEA COWS BAY, Tortola, VI – Addressing concerns about prescription medication that now has to be paid for at the Peebles Hospital, Minister for Health and Social Development Hon. Ronnie W. Skelton has said the situation is being worked out.

One resident stated during the government’s NDP on the Road community meeting held in Sea Cows Bay at the Valerie O. Thomas Community Centre last evening, April 29, 2013 that she was concerned about the seniors in the community.

“I understand that when we go to the hospital to be attended to by doctors, we have to pay for our medication. That was not so all the time. I would like to know if that is true or false,” the resident enquired.

Hon. Skelton said there have been ‘complications’ and challenges regarding the issue that were happening at the moment. “We’re trying to work those things out,” the Minister stated.

He explained that under current legislation, seniors are supposed to be given prescription drugs prescribed by doctors at the hospital for free. He also stated that prescriptions given by private hospitals, once available at the Peebles Hospital, are also given out free of cost.

According to Hon. Skelton, “They have had some changes because of the status of the [BVI] Health Services Authority that as a government, we’re trying to make.”

He further stated that the issue of persons being forced to pay for ‘free medication’ was previously addressed and should not be happening.

He cautioned however, “Some of the things that are being sold are over the counter medication…” These, he indicated, were items such as aspirin and cough medication. According to the Health Minister, government was of the view that this type of medication being made available is “a convenience to the people who are accessing medication at the hospital”.

“They are charging for those,” said Hon. Skelton, “but prescription medication, is supposed to be free.”

The issue was also highlighted on BVI Forum with Edmund Maduro on April 27, 2013 when a caller to the CBN Channel 51 programme complained that senior citizens and children were being made to pay for their medication.

An infuriated Maduro said he was going to look into the matter with urgency since legislation needed to be amended before the hospital could have charged for medication for senior citizens and children.

9 Responses to “Health Minister explains free medication issue at Peebles ”

  • ... (30/04/2013, 09:04) Like (5) Dislike (13) Reply
    the NDP is now reckoning hell and damnation on old people and children
  • kandy (30/04/2013, 09:09) Like (2) Dislike (5) Reply
    Charge the people who can afford to go private doctors and overseas. People that comes with prescriptionsnot from peebles should be charged, regardless of age.
  • critic (30/04/2013, 09:27) Like (5) Dislike (16) Reply
    Ronnie like he's willing to rob from the poor to pay for his costly mistake
    • ccc (30/04/2013, 09:46) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      The people of this country need to distinguish between what is unethical, what is immoral and what is illegal and what is the right and proper thing to do.
  • ooooo (30/04/2013, 09:30) Like (3) Dislike (7) Reply
    I feel for those senior citizens....now i'm sure he's going to charge them for rent up at spooner's estate
  • Boo (30/04/2013, 09:52) Like (2) Dislike (14) Reply
    wow, what scant curtesy and lack of respect for the law by Klein. Didnt even have the curtesy to inform anybody that he intended to break the hospital law and charge those who by law should be free!
  • voter (30/04/2013, 09:57) Like (2) Dislike (4) Reply
    Ronnie need to rein in Cline as he has now taken the HSA off course. Common sense would dictate that this should have been done AFTER the NHI was in place?
  • C.I.U. (01/05/2013, 05:14) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Medications prescribed by BVIHSA Physicians for all exempt categories (civil servants etc) including Persons over 65 with proof of BVI residency and school age children are free at the BVIHSA pharmacy. Over the counter medications are not free. And prescriptions by NON-BVIHSA physicians are not free. However exempt persons that are insured are asked to present their insurance card so that the insurance companies can be billed, the insured will not be billed for their co-payment so their medication is still free. The insured is requested to do this otherwise government will be paying for insurance for the exempt and not benefiting from the insurance. This not a new policy it has been in effect for many years.

  • Hmmm (01/05/2013, 12:11) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Back off the pastor and Ronnie, the bad girls club is responsible for this, if anything Roniie should stop being nice and cut those cords


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