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Healthcare in Turks & Caicos Island

The Ministry of Health (MOH) is responsible for the provision of efficient and effective preventative and curative care through the Health Department. This is carried out in partnership with the community, and with private and overseas providers. Decision-making is very centralised. The Permanent Secretary chairs the Senior Management Team, which is comprised of the Under Secretary, the Chief Medical Officer, the Chief Nursing Officer, and senior program managers. Private sector activity is limited to outpatient care and is focused on general practice. Residents have total access to healthcare throughout the country and at public healthcare facilities, clients are treated regardless of their ability to pay.

As for health insurance, employed persons pay a premium to receive benefits. Social Security covers the cost of medical expenses for occupational injuries; however, most employees are also enrolled in private insurance schemes. An estimated 20% of population has private health insurance; the remainder are covered by the MOH. Premiums for private insurance are paid jointly by the employer and the employee.

The public hospital network is comprised of the main facility, Grand Turk Hospital (35 beds), and the Myrtle Rigby Health Clinic (10 beds), located on Providenciales. These facilities provide general acute care and specialised services, as well as mental health, geriatric, and rehabilitative care on an inpatient and outpatient basis. Some secondary level services are offered in county, and others may be procured abroad; all tertiary level services must be procured abroad. There are two clinical laboratories in the public sector, located on Grand Turk and Providenciales, and two private clinical laboratories on Providenciales. The National Blood Bank Service is based at Grand Turk Hospital.

The number of health staff has increased since 1995, but shortages continue. Most personnel are foreign nationals, which is particularly critical, since they often hold senior managerial positions (e.g. Chief Medical Officer), and there is a high degree of temporary staff. The Government is seeking to employ more nationals, and the Community College has begun to train clinical nurses.





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