More money for dialysis support, cervical testing as Health Ministry’s budget approved


The Ministry of Health’s $110 billion budget was approved without changes on Friday and included in that sum is a $5.7 billion allocation for direct support to patients in need across the country.

This $5.7 billion sum is included in the ministry’s current spending under its ‘Policy Development and Administration’ work programme.

Last year, this line item had a $887 million allocation which was eventually increased to $1.1 billion after supplementary funds were approved.

So when the Parliamentary Committee of Supply scrutinised the budget on Friday, Opposition Parliamentarian Dr. Karen Cummings asked why the allocation has increased so substantially this year.

In response, Minister of Health Dr. Frank Anthony said, “We use this to help patients.”

Some $2.8 billion was set aside for cervical testing for about 350,000 persons; $1.8 billion to assist about 600,000 children and elderly persons get the spectacles voucher announced by Finance Minister Dr. Ashni Singh.

Other support ventures catered for in this $5.7 billion sum are: $600 million to help persons with coronary heart diseases, $360 million is for dialysis support and $212 million to assist persons who require MRI and CT scans.

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