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Medical supplies building ineligible for NHI funds,” says Social Security CEO

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Posted: Saturday, August 3, 2019. 4:01 pm CST.

By BBN Staff: A recently leaked government memo says that the Ministry of Health is seeking approval from the Social Security Board (SSB) for over a million dollars from National Health insurance (NHI) for a new medical supplies building, but SSB Chief Executive Officer Dr. Colin Young, says that the request may be against the rules.

Young told the media this week that the SSB has not received any application for funds from the MOH, but that even if that request comes a medical supplies building does not fit the criteria to receive funds from the NHI reserve.

“I will tell you that, based on my reading of (NHI Regulations) Section 78 (3) I don’t believe that the purpose that is in the memo would fall within one of the areas that can be funded with NHI funds,” Young said.

He also stressed that NHI funds are different from social security contributors funds and that the regulations prohibit SSB from mixing the two.

The memo said that the MOH approved a plan for a new Central Medical Stores facility costing upwards of $1.6 million. The figure raised concerns from the leader of the Opposition John Briceño, who wrote to Prime Minister Dean Barrow about those concerns. In his response, Barrow said that he didn’t feel the Ministry of Finance would not be allocating the money for the building as he did not feel the MOH should approach SSB for the funds.

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