Efforts to facilitate the ease of access to medical care in the French Departments of the Eastern Caribbean for nationals of OECS Member States were reinforced by a recent cooperation agreement signed by the OECS Commission and the General Social Security Fund of Guadeloupe (Caisse Generale Sécurité Sociale – CGSS).
Inter alia, the Agreement seeks to:
- Address the administrative, logistical and financial barriers that OECS Member States face when accessing health services in the French Departments in the Eastern Caribbean; and
- Facilitate the exchange of information and capacity building in an effort to support the development of regional approaches to health services and the portability of health benefits backed by adequate health insurance.
The MOU follows a visit of the CGSS General Director and his team to the OECS Commission’s offices in Saint Lucia in June, 2018.
Dr. Didacus Jules said “We are very aware of the exorbitant costs associated with extra-regional travel for medical care. The Commission has been actively seeking to create linkages with our French neighbours to expand access to specialised healthcare within the region and this agreement with the CGSS in Guadeloupe is a materialisation of these efforts. We look forward to deepening areas of cooperation in the years ahead.”
Mr. Henri Yacou said, “It’s a real pleasure to have signed this agreement between CGSS and OECS. I sincerely wish that this project will facilitate the free movement of citizens of the OECS to access health care in the best conditions possible.”
The CGSS team is presently working on a plan for:
- A pilot project in the OECS with a French health insurance company;
- Unique identification numbers for citizens of Member States; and
- A financially and legally secure partnership with hospital establishments of Guadeloupe, Martinique and St Martin.
The Agreement came into effect in July 2018 and will last, in the first instance, for a period of three years.
Source: OECS Communication Unit