POLICY PAPER ON HEALTHCARE
PEOPLE’S UNITED PARTY
John Briceño | Leader of the People’s United Party
The PUP is ready for day one in government to aggressively confront the present COVID-19 pandemic which is a catastrophe of the 21st century. We are not grieving or dwelling on it except to point out the failures and shortcomings of the present administration.
In terms of specific actions, these are proposed:
- The long-awaited roll-out of the National Health Insurance program to the entire nation will be done within the FIRST TERM in government. This will guarantee optimum primary health care and management of our most frequent EXPENSIVE and DEVASTATING diseases attacking our nation such as Covid-19, dengue diabetes, hypertension, heart attack, cancer, HIV, to name a few.
- KHMH, as the premier and national referral hospital, is one of the main pillars of our national health system. In its present state, KHMH needs urgent attention from GoB to find the appropriate model and solutions that will facilitate the improvement of its organizational leadership and management, medical staff competence and remuneration, plant infrastructure and maintenance, financial management, and accountability and transparency.
- All health facilities will be upgraded and essential equipment and supplies will be provided with state-of-the–art technology to deliver health care with minimal invasive surgery as laparoscopy, endoscopy, minimizing long hospital stay. An additional WING will be constructed at the KHMH to provide enhanced specialized services of the heart, kidney, brain, lungs and those suffering from cancer expanding our present health care services which our country needs NOW. Also a Public Health Centre for Disease Control will be established in the most accessible location.
- A PUP GoB will construct a new health facility in Punta Gorda and Belmopan. The construction of these facilities will address the problems of the severely dilapidated infrastructure of the Toledo Hospital and Belmopan health facility, thus improving the health care services for people in the western and southern districts, and decreasing the need for referral to the already congested KHMH. Also a well-designed community hospital will be constructed in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, with the aim of improving the services to all pregnant and new-born babies providing excellent-quality and accessible maternal services and other secondary services in that important community.
- Fully equipped MOBILE CLINICS for the elderly population will be created in each district improving the accessibility of health care to our aging population.
- A National Health Body where people can seek assistance and response to complaint of inadequate health service will be established. The PUP will institute a Patient’s Bill of Rights that will stress the key role patients play in staying healthy by laying out rights and responsibilities for all patients and health care providers. This will assist in the monitoring and evaluation of health services given to all Belizeans.
- A strategic investment will be made in the health workforce. At the primary and secondary levels, there is shortage of primary health care providers, of doctors and nurses needed to provide adequate coverage to some essential interventions and core SDG-related health services. Thus an in-depth analysis of the low motivation and retention of graduated Belizean nurses will be conducted and a structured approach will be implemented for the nurse training program since ad-hoc training sessions are not sufficient to fill gaps in the nursing field.
- Because health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, a mental health policy will be implemented to strengthen the community mental health services. This policy will address the care of acute psychotic crisis, the forensic psychiatry and the basic anti-psychotic medications.
- From the lessons learnt during the so-called first wave of Covid-19, the policy will ensure an adequate supply of essential materials, i.e. personal protective equipment, testing kits and re-agents, therapeutics, etc, as well as the availability of proper guidelines and protocols for health professionals in the public and private sectors to do their work with confidence and without fear of being infected.
- To ensure accountability, a practical, measurable and reliable monitoring and evaluation system will be put in place to tract performance in line with resource allocation in the public sector, thereby ensuring good value for money and assessing sustainability of the policy.
- Roll out of NHI system to the entire country.
- Improvement of services at ERs in the entire country.
- Skill management of high-risk pregnancy with industry standard technology for all nursery departments at the regional and KHMH.
- Legislation for revenue collection of “sin” tax to be used solely for NHI
- Legislation for NHI: separation of functions where MoH is regulator, an independent body to monitor and be purchaser, private hospitals or public polyclinics are providers.
- Update laws and regulations within the Medical Act and Ministry of Health.
- Audit of NHI program & Central Medical Stores.
- Update of National Health Formulary.
- Formation of National Health Body where people can seek assistance and response to complaint of inadequate health service. Institute a Patient’s Bill of Rights
- Need to establish max cap for medico / legal cases within public and private entities
- Establishment of educational program at primary, secondary and tertiary levels on prevention of non-communicable diseases.
- Establishment of a fair, competitive & transparent tendering procedures.
- Establishment of private / public health / PAHO commission to facilitate integral health system.
- Construction of new hospitals in Punta Gorda and Belmopan.
- Construction of San Pedro Community Hospital.
- Construction of a sub-specialty WING at KHMH
- Increase number of physicians per 1,000 population
- Increase and organize number of specialists per 1,000 population.
- Increase number of nurses per 1,000 population
- Complete and support accreditation of all health facilities
- Decrease prevalence and mortality rates of non-communicable diseases
- Improve care for diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases and cancer
- Decrease prevalence of dengue and HIV.
- Increase average life expectancy.
- Improve assessment of NHI providers.
- Decrease prevalence of malnutrition among children.