Chairperson of the St. Kitts and Nevis National Commission for Universal Health Care, Azilla Clarke says new categories will be added to health acts.

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts — With the implementation of Universal Health Care there will be an amendment to the present Medical Act and the Public Health Act, according to Chairperson of the St. Kitts and Nevis National Commission for Universal Health Care, Azilla Clarke.

At present, there are only six medical professions registered under the Medical Act. These include doctors, dentists, chemists, podiatrists, opticians and chiropractors.

“The new Medical Act will allow for professionals such as psychologists, social workers, therapists, nutritionists and similar professions,” said Ms. Clarke. Herbal medicine is excluded because it is not regulated by authorities, but it is possible that they will be recognized in the amended act.’

“With the revision to the acts, it is possible for herbalists to be duly registered and regulated by the country,” said Clarke. “They also have to continue their education to make sure that they are keeping abreast of modern and current research to make sure they are offering it.”

Ms. Clarke said that by expanding the profile of health professionals in St. Kitts and Nevis, it ensures that persons receive comprehensive care.

On page 18 of the Team Unity Manifesto, the administration recorded its commitment to “within its first term in office, commission a comprehensive national health insurance plan for all citizens of St. Kitts and Nevis.” The Universal Health Care was therefore initiated.

Renewed policy attention to Universal Health Care and a National Health Insurance System (NHIS) are being driven by ongoing concerns and challenges related to the burden of diseases, the demand for delivery and financing of efficient health care services with the need to be more sustainable, provide barrier-free access and improve financial protection.