Health Financing Innovations in the Caribbean: EHPO© and the National Health Fund of Jamaica
This paper describes the conceptualization, development and implementation of the National Health Fund in Jamaica. Established in 2003, the NHF provides direct assistance to patients for drug purchases and funding support to private and public organizations for approved projects. The NHF marks a new strategic approach to the introduction of national health financing schemes utilizing the EHPO© analytical model. EHPO© (Evaluating Health Policy Options) helps policymakers develop strategies and options and includes an interactive, dynamic computer model that is used to evaluate benefit coverage options and their financial risks. The paper examines the desirable features of national health financing systems, the Jamaica public policy context and the role of EHPO© in analyzing health benefits and coverage, financial risk and liability. It suggests lessons to other countries for the design of healthcare benefits coverage, financing, provider payment mechanisms and public policy implementation.