Around 3,000 islanders will be receiving a survey next month asking for their views on how healthcare is funded in Jersey as part of work towards a new model by 2025.
The Government Plan passed last year committed the Health Minister to conducting a review this year “to inform funding options for increased healthcare costs and potential new health access schemes” with a final “sustainable” health funding model to be in place in three years’ time.
It comes after the Minister announced in July that she would be putting the development and implementation of the Jersey Care Model on pause, pending further review.
Providing an update on the funding work, Health Minister Deputy Karen Wilson said staff in her department were currently working alongside “specialist health economists to estimate total healthcare expenditure for Jersey using the WHO system of Health Accounts and to model current funding sources.”
This, she said, will provide “full understanding” of the true cost of providing healthcare in Jersey currently, and allow the island to compare its outgoings with other jurisdictions.
Pictured: The new Health Minister, Deputy Karen Wilson.
Part of this work will involve gauging islanders’ views, and a review is due to be distributed in October to approximately 3,000 Jersey households, according to the Minister.
This will be followed up with further consultation with the public and service providers on “potential funding and financing options" in the autumn of 2023.
“It is envisaged that this will result in a report and proposition being brought to the Assembly by early 2024,” Deputy Wilson said.
Her update came in response to a question from Reform Jersey’s Deputy Geoff Southern, who asked if it was the Minister’s policy that healthcare “should be provided free at the point of use”, if current free services should remain without charge. He also asked if she would agree to “propose that sustainable funding for such services should be sourced from hypothecated taxes”.
However, the Minister declined to commit to any potential way forward.
“Until the work has been completed, it would be pre-emptive to commit to any proposed funding and financing model,” Deputy Wilson said.
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I would also hope that The States will considerably increase the GP fee, as visits to the Family Doctor are becoming so expensive, putting people off visiting GP's when really necessary, costing the Hospital and Treasury more when illnesses progress and need more urgent, expensive treatment.
I hope this survey of 3,000 homes, is carefully selected as to obtain a full and inclusive sample of average wealthy peoples.