Medical insurances for all citizens

Fiji United Freedom Party proposes a health scheme that will provide medical insurances for all citizens. Picture: FT FILE

The Ministry of Health and Medical Services has confirmed it is aware of the death of a four-day-old baby at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital in Suva last Friday. Picture: FT FILE

FIJI United Freedom Party proposes a health scheme that will provide medical insurances for all citizens.

This is a similar model that is in practice in developed countries, however, modified to suit our people and Fiji.

* The medical cover by the employer to be extended for life for the workforce.

* Subsidised medical cover by the government for the others

The medical insurances for the workforce:

Almost every employee in the workforce is provided with an insurance policy by their employers.

This can be ensured as a government policy decision to make it an obligation by the employer.

For example, those who are provided with an insurance by the employer are probably paying about $F1000. If a person begins work at the age of 25 he or she would end up paying 30,000 for medical insurance through their employer by the time he or she retires at 55.

Unfortunately, the policy ceased to exist from the day of the retirement and the person is without a cover at the time when it is most required.

This must be extended for life with proper premiums adjusted accordingly. It is expected to have teething issues at the beginning of the rollout of this policy as the employer may not be able to afford the premiums for those who are close to retirement and in different age buckets, for example for those who are over 40 years of age.

The government may have to step in to subsidise only as a onetime budget allocation and it will fall in to place from therein.

However, the younger workforce can fit in to the lifetime policy cover with premiums adjusted accordingly from early stages.

The unemployed and the low income earners:

Today, the government is allocating a significant amount in budget allocations for free medical services. This allocation may be a much lower amount that can be made available to provide medical insurances to the low-income earners and the unemployed.

The idea is to transform the free medical services in to a properly structured insurance model.

This will also mean that the free medical services will eventually transition in to commericialised private hospitals with every person having access to the services through a medical scheme that is either provided by the employer or subsidised by the government.

The government will gradually transfer the burden of medical services to the insurance companies and the semi or privately owned hospitals while all citizens will be able to enjoy the best services locally and internationally.

The government must invest in their people that empower them to achieve highest standards of life.

The “free” concept and the mind-set that is only designed to win votes at the elections must be taken away as it never contributes to the growth of the society.

While certain areas such as education must remain free as a constitutional right, the other services that are provided by the government can be best achieved by introducing alternate solutions.

These will not have any impact on the poor as their needs will be looked after by the government by providing solutions such as insurances to provide better and quality services to the public.

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