NHF striving for perfection – Anderson
Chief Executive Officer of the National Health Fund (NHF) Everton Anderson has indicated that while the Fund is still faced with challenges, every effort is being made to improve the service to the public.
Speaking at the banquet and awards ceremony for the NHF recently, Anderson commended the staff of the agency for their commitment to providing the highest quality of service at each level of the organisation.
“It has been my pleasure to work with the team at NHF. When you can have benefit cards being processed right throughout the country and handed over to patients in 15 minutes, there is much to be proud of. When Drug Serv was introduced, I know some of you were nervous, as there were issues with filling prescriptions across the island. However, as at the end of last month, we were serving customers at an average rate of one hour and five minutes, which is a significant improvement over the four to five hours patients used to be able to get their prescriptions filled. We are not perfect, but we are striving for perfection,” said Anderson.
The NHF, which was established in 2003, has spent in excess of $30 billion on medication subsidies. This has resulted in more than 800,000 Jamaicans having increased access to more affordable drugs and improved health benefits. Over the period, the NHF has disbursed more than $17 billion in grants to fund health projects. The Fund, which now has responsibility for managing public-sector pharmacies, also filled 2.5 million prescriptions for patients in the public-health sector last year.
The NHF, an agency of the Ministry of Health, took over the management of all public pharmacies in April 2018. At the ceremony, the Kingston-based Union Square Drug Serv was recognised and awarded for its service to approximately 500 patients per day while the Bustamante Hospital was named Drug Serv Location of the Year, with a waiting time of under one hour.
Encouraged to set high standards
Guest speaker Howard Mitchell encouraged NHF staff to continue to set high standards for themselves and demand excellence of their leaders.
Deputy Chairman of the NHF Dana Dixon also lauded the staff for their innovativeness in creating solutions for patients to have greater ease of access to health services and affirmed the board’s commitment to creating policies in the pursuit of a healthier population.
Among the top winners for the night were Keron Mais, Manager of the Year; Audriana Sinclair, Employee of the Year while the Individual Benefits Department copped the Quality Award.
The NHF honoured 199 staff members from various departments and divisions across the island who had served for periods of five 10 or 15 years. One hundred and sixty-five members of staff were awarded for five years of service, 20 were awarded for 10, and 14 staff members were recognised for 15 years of service to the agency.