The Cost of Health Care

Author : teriann

Have you ever had to be in hospital or visit the doctor’s office? Well if not, count yourself as one of the fortunate ones.  Of course no one wants to get sick but what if you suddenly became ill?  Would you be able to afford it?

The issue of affordable health care has plagued the Jamaican health care system.  The cost of health has always been a sore point for me as those who really need it often don’t receive the full benefit of the health system.

If you don’t have an emergency but still need medical attention, how much will it cost?

Well of course the cost varies on the medical procedure that you are having done as well as the type of doctor that you need. Specialists cost more than general practitioners so be prepared to dig a little deeper in your pocket if your condition requires specialized care.

A regular general practitioner can between $2000 – $8000 depending on location.  A specialist will cost consumers up to $12,000 or more. A number of consumers feel that the cost of health care is simply out of reach.  As a result of high costs, consumers try alternative ways to treat illness such as trying to access natural cures.

The natural cure- an expensive option

Those consumers who feel as if going the natural route is cheaper do have a few more options however there are other factors to consider. Most herbal practitioners are not covered by insurance so the entire cost has to be paid by the consumer.

The cost for visits to certified herbal doctors can be as much as $10,000 per visit. This excludes the cost of any herbal medications recommended by the doctor.

Some of these natural vitamins and tonics can range between $6000 – $8000. This can still be out of many person’s budget unless they have the knowledge  to source the needed natural additives on their own without accessing it through herbal stores.

So what’s the solution?

Other than keeping as healthy as you can, it is a good idea to have some form of health insurance. The government health insurance plan is offered to civil servants for a minimal cost each month. If you are not employed with the government you can still access the funds in The National Health Fund (NHF). This government entity issues a card which covers some chronic conditions such as asthma and high blood pressure.

It assists those with those conditions by giving them a card which they can use to access medications at a reduced cost. The form is free and once signed by the doctor is submitted for the patient to receive benefits with no monthly payments.

So how do you manage the costs associated with health care? Let me hear from you!

Teri Ann Renee Paisley

Gleaner online writer

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