#Providenciales, April 29, 2019 – Turks and Caicos – The nation’s social healthcare plan is projecting a surplus for the fiscal year 2019-2020 and that surprising excess was explained as due to an expected increase in income and little change when it comes to staffing costs.
Chief Financial Officer of the Board, Riyad Rahamad, with a team from the National Health Insurance Board was reporting to the Appropriations Committee of the House of Assembly this past week.
“Revenue has been increasing over the last couple of years and this year we took a three percent increase to bring us up a little bit more. We try to keep the subvention as low as possible, keeping it consistent with what was budgeted for in 2018-19. This is the subvention from the TCIG, but again that is also depends on what the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Finance will also put on their budgets so we are also guided by that… overall we are still projecting an increase to about $70.4 million.”
It is projected that the NHIP will chart an overall increase of three percent or $412,000 for the new financial year. In the last budget cycle, income was $68.5 million.
There is a slight rise in the cost for staff. Cost of staffing this fiscal year is just over $2 million.
“There were a lot of vacancies that existed at NHIB and we have started the process and we expect that most of these will be filled in this financial year, if not all.”
This however is only a projection and could easily be negatively affected by emergency medical care or unexpected demands likely linked to the Treatment Abroad Program, TAP.
“We sort of looked at trends over the last couple of years; the dollar value as well as the number of cases that we see of people going abroad under the different specialties. Using those things we came up with the figures in terms of what we are looking at, trying to keep it as realistic as possible. With medical expenses, you can never be accurate because you always have emergency cases and situations that we have to death, life threatening situations but we tried our best to keep our medical expenses as low as possible but as realistic as possible.”
Mr. Rahamad informed Committee member, Hon Royal Robinson that the addition of U.S. medical centers as a part of the approved list for TAP remains unconcluded.
“We have a list of approved provided, but from my knowledge, I am not sure that the United States has been put onto that approved list. However, we have been seeing more cases and more requests being made to go to the United States and I know that our operations department is looking at it.”
Build institutional capacity, strengthen outreach programs and IT systems, improve compliance of participants in the Plan and a three-year strategic plan are steering the efforts of the NHIB, said the CFO. A completion of over $500,000 in capital projects is also anticipated to be completed this fiscal year.
Income at the NHIB is projected to be $70.3 million this financial year.