Ministry clarifies new hospital fee regime

Saturday, August 18, 2018

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THE Ministry of Health assured Jamaicans yesterday that Government's no-user-fee policy for public patients without insurance remains in effect as they will not be charged.

The ministry, at the same time, reiterated that recent increases in public hospital user fees are only applicable to the following categories of users:

• Private patients;

• Patients with insurance; and

• Non-residents (people who do not live in Jamaica)..

A 'private patient' is any patient who is paying a specifically named doctor or dentist in a public hospital for private services. This is reflected in the ministry's guidelines on Private Practice in the Government Health Services 2013, which also states that “any patient referred to the institution and not a particular doctor should be assumed to be public unless otherwise stated”.

'Patients with insurance' are those who have health insurance that covers all or a portion of the public hospital services they require. For such patients, only the amount payable by the insurance company is applicable and there is no charge payable directly by the patient to the hospital.

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