FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE TO THE POOR AND VULNERABLE AND ELIMINATION OF HOSPITAL FEES FOR SOME GROUPS

Roseau, Dominica – July 15, 2008…..Fully cognisant of the impact of rising food prices especially on disadvantaged groups and individuals, Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit, has announced a package of measures designed to ease the burden on the population.

 

In his presentation of the 2008/2009 Budget to Parliament last Thursday, Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit announced that effective, July, 2008, allowances granted under the social assistance programmes will be increased by 10 percent. This will include allowances to young people in foster care, clothing and transportation allowances for disadvantaged students and grants provided to institutions that care for disadvantaged persons.

 

The amounts paid as public assistance or ‘paupers allowance’ will be increased by 50 percent, effective July 2008. The total cost of these measures is $1.8 million.

 

With respect to hospital user fees, the Prime Minister announced that all persons 65 years of age and older, as well as infants and young persons up to the age of 18 years who are still in a formal education institution will be exempted from the payment of hospital fees.

 

In addition, Government has decided to give favourable consideration to a request from nurses for their exemption from basic hospital fees. The details are now being worked out by the Ministry of Health and the Environment and the Establishment, Personnel and Training Department.  (Ends)

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