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'NHI will be a burden on the average person' – Dr Rawle R. Hannibal

- said policy badly in need of review
Territorial At Large candidate Dr Rawle R. Hannibal has criticised the National Health Insurance (NHI) scheme to be a likely burden on the pockets of the average person in the territory and has called for a review while making several recommendations. Photo: VINO/File
Chairman of the Virgin Islands Party (VIP) Honourable Julian Fraser, RA has on several occasions shared the view that the current set structure of the NHI needs to be reviewed and revised before it can be implemented. Photo: VINO/File
Chairman of the Virgin Islands Party (VIP) Honourable Julian Fraser, RA has on several occasions shared the view that the current set structure of the NHI needs to be reviewed and revised before it can be implemented. Photo: VINO/File
Chairman of the BVI Health Services Authority (BVISHA) Mr John I. Cline has been calling for the speedy implementation of NHI as he sees it as the only way of pulling the health care sector out of the “deep pit” it is currently in. Photo: VINO/File
Chairman of the BVI Health Services Authority (BVISHA) Mr John I. Cline has been calling for the speedy implementation of NHI as he sees it as the only way of pulling the health care sector out of the “deep pit” it is currently in. Photo: VINO/File
VALLEY, Virgin Gorda, VI – Yet another candidate in the national elections of the Virgin Islands (VI) has taken the National Health Insurance (NHI) scheme to task and admonishes residents to take a second look at the policy since it is likely to have a serious strain on their pockets.

This came from Territorial At Large candidate Dr Rawle R. Hannibal while making public his vision for the territory.

Speaking specifically of the NHI, Dr Hannibal stated that if one is to look at the consultation paper it would be quickly realised that the coverage by NHI is inadequate; hence persons would be forced to procure "private" insurance for themselves and families.

He outlined that some employers normally pay the premium for their employees but with NHI these employers would no longer be able to afford this practice, especially with the additional 3.75% mandatory contributions to NHI on the employee’s behalf.

NHI a burden

In his assessment, Dr Hannibal said the average person would be paying tax, Social Security, NHI and insurance premium, which would be a financial burden. 

“The average salary cannot sustain this with the minimum wage in the BVI being where it is currently at $4.00 per/ hr. The cost of basic commodities is going up daily in the BVI. It’s my opinion that government needed to ask the local insurance companies, who are experts, to form a national group [in order] to dissect the insurance burden piece by piece [with] each one taking that coverage which they could best provide- locally and abroad - at the cheapest cost.”

He shared that such a venture would provide more private sector jobs and reduce the burden on government. “I implore BVIslanders to take a look at what is covered under the NHI. For example, most procedures are subject to be approved by a “board” and everybody knows how that works in the BVI.”

Recommendations to NHI

Dr Hannibal said he is of the opinion that some very important services are included in NHI coverage, including ambulatory patient services, emergency care, hospitalisation, maternity and newborn services, mental health and addiction services, prescription drug coverage, rehabilitation and rehabilitative care, laboratory and medical imaging services, preventive and wellness services, along with chronic disease management and pediatric care and dental and vision services.

“It’s incumbent on any government not to impose hardship upon its citizens, especially the less fortunate among us and retirees, school children, elderly and the mentally insane. They must have universal coverage.”

Opposition wants review of NHI

Chairman of the Virgin Islands Party (VIP) Honourable Julian Fraser RA (R3) has on several occasions shared the view that the current set structure of the NHI needs to be reviewed and revised before it can be implemented.

NHI is also being criticised by the Opposition as a callous scheme of the National Democratic Party (NDP) government to recover money for the construction and upkeep of the massive Peebles Hospital.

On the other hand, Chairman of the BVI Health Services Authority (BVISHA) Bishop John I. Cline has been calling for the speedy implementation of NHI as he sees it as the only way of pulling the health care sector out of the “deep pit” it is currently in.

Funding for NHI

According to public information, NHI will be funded by contributions made by all employed persons, whether locals or expats, working in the Virgin Islands, and deducted in the same manner as social security contributions.

Contributions will be based on a percentage rate applied to a maximum of twice the national insurable earnings which was most recently set at US$38,610 per annum for 2014.

Accordingly, the ceiling for NHI deductions on earnings would be US$77,220 - any income earned above that figure would not be subject to deduction. Income up to that level would be subject to the NHI deduction at the proposed initial rate is 7.5%. That rate is to be split equally between employer and employee - so the employee has 3.75% deducted from their salary, and the employer pays a 3.75% levy on payroll.

The maximum monthly contribution for an individual would be US$482.63 per month based up on 2014 maximum insurable earnings.

43 Responses to “'NHI will be a burden on the average person' – Dr Rawle R. Hannibal”

  • just asking. (27/05/2015, 10:26) Like (21) Dislike (5) Reply
    Dr u speaking good we giving u one!
    • tax (27/05/2015, 11:53) Like (18) Dislike (4) Reply
      If they genuinely wanted to help why are they not taxing these companies? The only tax that companies pay is their 2% portion of employee income tax and social and keep the millions in profits. Come on man something needs to be done about this. Why is everyone paying the same 8% in tax? I for one believe that when you make 100 gran a year you should pay at least 10%
      • Class2Employer (27/05/2015, 19:50) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
        Only 2%? Once a business have as little as 7 employee they list you as a class 2 employer and that tax is then raised to 6%. This has been going on under VIP and NDP. Both VIP and NDP needs to go!
        • Class2Employee (28/05/2015, 08:34) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
          Class2employer---Good info, I didn`t know that. If this info is true, this would make--minimum wage, mandatory pension plan and NHI, workable and easy to implement--these government people are just playing with us, playing us as fools.----thank you. You taught me something
          • Class2Employer (28/05/2015, 10:37) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
            The information I've provided is accurate and on top of this if your company downsizes at any point you are still obligated to pay that 6% tax until the year ends. The only way for change is to vote for a new party cause both VIP and NDP are corrupt. Fresh representation is what the entire BVI needs.
        • oUCH (28/05/2015, 15:09) Like (1) Dislike (2) Reply
          because you do not want to pay taxes. Ask that the taxes are in other jurisdictions? Who do you expect to pay for things around here?
    • vip`s (28/05/2015, 08:17) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      VIPs--I am still waiting to hear your plans for health--NHI, The board, the service and the fees....Also Agriculture--TRC, Cable TV service, high fees. why cant Cable TV have their Feeders powered by generator/batteries. So people who invest in generators can enjoy their investment by been able to watch TV---If this can happened in Guyana and santo domingo, two poor countries. Why cant it happen here?
  • facts man (27/05/2015, 10:33) Like (36) Dislike (7) Reply
    A vote for the ndp is a vote nhi and higher taxes
  • NORTHSOUNDER (27/05/2015, 11:17) Like (14) Dislike (1) Reply
    WE GOT YOU BACK HANNIBAL CAUSE YOU LOOKING OUT FOR THE SMALL MAN... I ALWAY LIKE YOUR PRACTICAL IDEAS AND SOLUTION. WE UNDERSTAND WHY YOU MADE THE SWITCH. COUNTRY ABOVE SELF. YOUR ARE A TRUE PATRIOT IN EVERY SENSE OF THE WORD. GOD BLESS YOU. COME ON PEOPLE LETS VOTE FOR HANNIBAL.
  • Valley Political Analyst (27/05/2015, 11:42) Like (51) Dislike (11) Reply
    And for this reason Ronnie W. Skelton CANNOT BE VOTED FOR. He bread done butter and want to kill the average man!!! Ronnie GOT TO GO!!! He ain't well anyway.
  • Virgin Gorda votes (27/05/2015, 11:55) Like (5) Dislike (28) Reply
    Hanibal needs to go sit down and get his own
    personal act together.

    Tell the people why you had to run atlarge, out of ignorance.
  • Guest (27/05/2015, 12:10) Like (11) Dislike (8) Reply
    if a government promises a lot of things for free including health care, ask them where the money will come from to sustain it. NHI may add a burden but it ensures that when you get sick, the insurance will cover for the cost of medical services. Imagine being sick and stressing about where to get the money to pay for bills.
    • NO brain Guest (27/05/2015, 12:18) Like (21) Dislike (3) Reply
      It is a tax. You cannot go nowhere unless you get permission. If you are not a very important person, start to pray because death is near.
    • Tired (27/05/2015, 16:03) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
      Guest--You make me laugh, (think of 47 million)--being sick and being dead is the same at Peebles. How would insurance help you at Peebles. I was there, not good---too much insecure and spiteful people in charge holding the Hospital down, it can be better, using their BHD attitude to keep good Doctors and Nurses down--with a useless board and minister.-- Dr. Yeesing can run that hospital and raise the standard of care and service. Use the Talent you have and make Peebles better--Stop getting personal, you are only putting peoples care and lives at risk. We don`t need the board.
      • okay (27/05/2015, 22:06) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
        I beg to differ on one point Dr eye sing is not going to do any better
    • @guest (27/05/2015, 18:55) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
      Clearly you have never been sick, or has never had the opportunity to have a love one sick and in Peebles! I'm telling you from first hand experience....all that glitters is Not GOLD...If you think with NHI you wouldn't have to source funding..YOU BETTER THINK AGAIN! It's a fancy hotel without the necessary tools...and HIMA...those of you who get to travel out and see...THIS HIMA that is so HIGHLY BOASTED ABOUT ON NDP CAMPAIGN TRAIL.....YOU WILL REALLY SEE THAT YOU MADE A DEAL WITH THE DEVIL! I HAVE EXPERIENCED ALL THAT THEY HAVE TO OFFER! BUT DONT TAKE MY WORD FOR IT! GET OUT THERE AND SEE IT FOR YOURSELF!!!
  • Premium (27/05/2015, 12:18) Like (20) Dislike (1) Reply
    Finally a candidate talking issue I am concern about this NHI thing this government wants to impose on us. I have 3 school age children and my wife not working. Luckily I have health insurance from my work place. Additional burden on my employer may cause them to cancel my insurance. What do I do then. My wife had surgery in Puerto Rico last year and is still recovering. The surgery she had could not be done here in the BVI. What then??? I don't know you Dr.Hannibal but you sound like a caring man,a peoples person. I hope people like you get in. You got my 2 God bless you.
    • ok (27/05/2015, 14:25) Like (3) Dislike (2) Reply

      So you get cancer or some other long term illness and then your insurance caps out, then what? You will cut your throat and die or you will go begging for Government help. Stop talking $&#% NHI means there will be funding for ALL needing insurance. Education is key in this country! Imagine most people walking around with mobile gadgets with internet but will never do their own research, only repeat @#$& that others say. NHI doesn't discriminate when it comes to pre-existing conditions. Try getting insurance somewhere else with the same. Try reading the fineprint of your employer paid for insurance. There is a cap and a good accident or long time illness will eat up that money within a few years then you will be a fri& to we the people, with no proper funding for care. BVI was never a place to let people die whether they had insurance or not. Let us contribute so that all of us have a chance at a healthy life and survival. Further, many talk about their insurance but what about those who don't have?

      • @ok (28/05/2015, 09:09) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        I agree education is the key so please help educate us, please answer the following questions so all of us can learn more - Does the NHI have limits like other insurance policies? If so, what happens if you cap out on the NHI? Will you still have to contribute to the NHI although you would not be entitled to any more benefits because you reached your cap? Have you read the fine print of the NHI? It's a good recommendation to advise others to read the fine print of their insurance policies-those policies with all the details are currently available-but is the fine print of the NHI with all the details available to be read at this moment? Was there any other alternative explored to assist those who didn't have insurance at all apart from the NHI as currently proposed?
  • Moby (27/05/2015, 12:21) Like (42) Dislike (18) Reply
    Come on man! You all well know the NHI is necessary. Every time the government has to fly someone out of here, who you think really paying for those that cant afford it? Government cannot do everything for free. If me contributing to the NHI is for the betterment of all, or helps defray costs for others, what the hell is the big problem? My tax dollars are being used anyway. More of us, or our family members will get sick and need assistance, you think I'm lying! Watch and see. And the same one of you will be begging the representatives for assistance, because health care is NOT getting any cheaper.
    • elsewhere (27/05/2015, 13:13) Like (12) Dislike (3) Reply
      Elsewhere in the Caribbean they could have built 5 hundred bed hospital for the money, over a 100 million for our unfinished on. Now this government want to shift the burden back on the tax payers. Crazyness . But as usual no body in this government listens to the common people. Always tell us what they gonna give us when they aint even hear what our real needs are. Hannibal said it needed review with something as important as this. I think his recommendations are valid. Government wanted to implement nhi since August 2013. No body was ready for it then and we still aint ready for it now. Further thought on this matter is necessary. Good article vino.
      • where elae (27/05/2015, 16:22) Like (5) Dislike (2) Reply
        elsewhere----I agree with you----two private rooms on a ward---private rooms are where the large income is--My head hurting me--What kind of brain these people have--Ronnie disappoint me so much---My head hurts.
  • tola (27/05/2015, 12:55) Like (9) Dislike (1) Reply
    You vg people don't know a good ting when u see it - with Hannibal in there the 9 will have two reps so that the district can get much needed attention. If ayo was smart you would vote for he and who ever else ayo like
  • To Moby (27/05/2015, 13:03) Like (16) Dislike (3) Reply
    Just so you know the government fly out who they want and I am living proof because they left my family to die in that hospital and the family member was not a NDP so their life was not worth it. So imagine the board making life/ death decisions. Not for NHI
  • i from here (27/05/2015, 14:02) Like (6) Dislike (2) Reply
    People or no people we voting the NDP out…they will be left with 4 seats; Malone, Myron, Orlando and Mark…ON MY LIFE
  • poor people (27/05/2015, 14:07) Like (10) Dislike (1) Reply
    NHI will be a good thing when we get a new minister and dismantle the board and give health back to the PS, who will appoint a Czar, or administrator. I am certain the budget would be lets than 47 million, the fees would be less, and the service would be better. As it is now they don`t care about poor people,
  • NHI Gecko (27/05/2015, 14:23) Like (14) Dislike (0) Reply
    From the moment I heard of the NHI consultancy eons ago, I thought, is it not more beneficial to all stakeholders if some regulatory regime with teeth were put in place to ensure that every citizen could obtain basic private medical insurance, with government providing a minimum statutory scheme for school-aged children (up to 16 years), the elderly (75+, perhaps) and certified mentally-challenged persons? In that way the burden on the public purse could be minimized, and able-bodied adults would be 'encouraged' to look after their own welfare.

    A well-designed public-education campaign could go a far way in changing the narrow mindset that we as a populace have towards prioritizing private health coverage. We have become so dependent on running to government for everything, that we see nothing wrong with saddling the country with an exorbitant tax and strain on health services that could be avoided. There is a relatively inexpensive air ambulance insurance coverage available in the Territory, for example, that it is unconscionable that government is 'required' to foot the bill when persons need to be flown out.

    NHI needs to be re-thought, as the gargantuan task of funding it on an annual basis might ironically result in a less-than-adequate health services regime. The constant delays in NHI's roll out might be indicative of just how problematic the NHI scheme really is.
    • Boo (27/05/2015, 14:53) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
      I approve this message ^^^. Government should focus on developing coverage for a safety net for those who are uninsured or underinsured due to inability to pay and ensuring that existing plans meet minimum standard
  • voter (27/05/2015, 14:43) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    I'm not for VIP more for NDP and the one who I am not certain is getting my vote is Skelton. This NHI needs to be thrown out the window.
    • @voter (27/05/2015, 19:57) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
      That means you need to vote out Dr. Smith cause he is Skelton's boss isn't he? All the final decisions are done by the Doctor.
  • Brain no guess (27/05/2015, 16:10) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    No Brain guess--hahahahaha. You killing me with laugh..you keeping it real. I spent 3 Nights in University Hospital one the best in the Caribbean and after insurance my bill was $317.00 (three hundred and seventeen). What are we paying for here, and why so daxxam high.
  • NDP attack dog (27/05/2015, 17:28) Like (2) Dislike (3) Reply
    Rawle Hannibal needed to run in the 9th to split up some more VIP votes and hand Bertie the victory on a platter!
  • Sue (27/05/2015, 18:00) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    The only way for the hospital to function is to over hall the top management trust me it is bad I was in there the building is nice but the service is bad so I don't know what they are bragging about before they take people money for NHI they should hire staff who cares for the sick starting from the doctors I am sorry for who have to depend on them because they does fly you out when you are dying and the time you reach PR you will come back as a corpse when the elite have to go they rush them out other people you have to wait for ever we need answers why certain people have to wait even though they have insurance and money to pay down
    • Boo (27/05/2015, 19:48) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
      There has been enough debate about the incompetence of management and the uselessness of the board that Ronnie insists on retaining. He should have fired their behinds years ago and install some competence to move the BVIHSA forward. Instead what we have is continued largesse and buffoonery passing for top management and board. The BVIHSA need fixing long before any NHI can be implemented
  • Yelr@ (27/05/2015, 18:16) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    It is sad that some would blog using expletives and all on a simple debate. This matter is a serious one and deserves our full attention not no peace meal that was done on the fly. When some blog so rudely one wonders what is going on here. Is there some interest that one is keen to see come through for the good of the people or good of the individual? Here's my concerns then as is the minimum debate has started but some board can't get a solution. With wages being stagnant how will one propose those folks who're barely surviving to pay $400+ monthly? As usual those who support certain party will blog their heart out using whatever means to insult others. That Dickson is call dictatorship and we not having it here.
  • stand (27/05/2015, 18:19) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    I like what Hannibal stands for he ain't afraid of getting victimized he got some big calabash mis-son that why I voting for he you, got to give to him. A real David and Goliath kinda thing lol lol calabash!
  • RedStorm (27/05/2015, 19:31) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    Well its nice to see someone getting to the bottom of the issues in this country. The company pay both pension and insurance. What I don't understand is why the got to have a board make a decision how I should spend my contribution if I sick and want to fly to another country no board should tell me NO or YES. Another thing, Why you want to charge me Income tax , Social Security, NHI. I believe the government need to choose one or the other , but not both. I am not hearing no politicians talking about their manifesto. Not one saying what they will do , and what need to fix. I want to hear some long term plans. Always talking down each other, what an example for the young ones. Tell me what are some of the things need to get done, we have three phone companies not one of them can give you proper internet , two of them killing your minutes on the phone, and filling up your data with a set of blogs. It should be against the law to send text to someone who has not requested it.
  • Serious (27/05/2015, 22:28) Like (3) Dislike (7) Reply
    All the bloggers you full of it, the same thing Hannibal is saying is the very same thing that Andrew Fraser and rest of the team is saying all the time but you guys are busy not listen or hearing please pay serious attention to what is being said ,,,,,all the parties are saying the same things so how come Fraser and his are so wrong you all are idiots blogging....VIP all the way Fraser say it now dr, Hannibal saying it
  • Patsy (28/05/2015, 07:57) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Hannibal is a good man a son of the soil. Never giving up always persevering, loves life and people for real. He had a massive stroke but God wasn't ready for him. He was sent back for a reason. Love u Hannibal. keep running for the people. I am so proud of you!
    • pop (28/05/2015, 09:42) Like (12) Dislike (0) Reply
      Lolly - aka Hannibal, is a decent and kind man he knows how to represent people. I saw this from his days at the hospital. I am happy to see he running at large. We got u!
  • old school (28/05/2015, 09:29) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    What more does Hannibal have to offer, does he have any more important issues to bring to the table. I am interested to hear his take on creating jobs and so on. What he is saying sounding good though. I went to school with him and he was always a bright fellow!
  • Out spoken (28/05/2015, 13:35) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    This may come as a shock to some of you...Dr.Hannibal is very much capable of running the Hospital, hands down....go do your own ivestigation


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