The Government of Grenada has signed a nine-month contract with Miami-based firm, Joint Independent Provider Association (JIPA), to complete the process of development for implementation of the National Health Insurance Programme.
Grenada’s Prime Minister, Keith Mitchell has hailed this historic agreement with JIPA, which took effect on 29 October 2019, as a “game-changer for the healthcare system, given the many challenges faced by that system, throughout our history.”
According to the Prime Minister, “healthcare is a right, and every Grenadian citizen needs to know that their right can be satisfied right here at home.”
With the new contract with JIPA, Grenada is poised to become one of only a few developing nations around the world and in the Caribbean, to introduce a sustainable brand of National Health Insurance (NHI) to its citizens.
The JIPA Network, headed by Grenadian-born and USA-trained neurologist, Dr Kester Nedd, promises that their NHI plan will overhaul the system and address issues of cost and delivery of healthcare in Grenada.
To do so, JIPA promises to utilise its extensive experience in managing high cost, catastrophic healthcare conditions around the region, to introduce a system of “managed and value-based healthcare” to Grenada, which will be available to all its citizens, regardless of their ability to pay.
According to Dr Nedd, to achieve this, JIPA will “utilise a tested and proven model, which consolidates funding and organises healthcare providers and consumers into large groups, in which risks such as payment and care are shared across those groups. By doing so, better healthcare will be made much more affordable and accessible across all sectors of the Grenadian society.”
The “son of the soil” physician referred to JIPA’s plan as one which will “revolutionise the health system for all stakeholders: from consumers to practitioners and administrators.”
Dr Nedd believes that JIPA’s plan for the NHI will promote better upward mobility for healthcare practitioners, which will, in turn, enable the government to retain its much-needed, highly trained doctors, nurses and other medical personnel.
Nickolas Steele, Grenada’s Minister for Health, believes that the government’s contract with JIPA, which builds on work already started by the University of the West Indies and other stakeholders, to eventually launch an NHI in Grenada, is a necessary step to overcoming many of the challenges that the healthcare system now faces.
According to the minister, “if Grenadians can agree to JIPA’s team-based model, NHI will become a reality in the not too distant future, and as such, the challenges faced by a colonial system of care will finally be addressed, for present and future generations.”
Noting that better healthcare continues to be a national priority of the New National Party administration, the minister expressed government’s willingness and readiness to lend all the necessary support to JIPA in order to make NHI, which he referred to as the “great equaliser,” a reality, and deliver improved health services for all Grenadians, especially the many who cannot always afford to go abroad to have their healthcare needs met.
Over the next 9 months, JIPA has pledged to continue extensive consultations, and work with all sectors and stakeholders in Grenada to develop and finalise the necessary benefits plans, funding models and administrative processes for the implementation of the NHI.