The 2022 budget allocation for the health sector is $6.395 billion. This is $335 million more than the 2021 allocation of $6.050 billion.
Finance Minister Colm Imbert made the announcement during the budget on October 4. It is the second largest allocation to the budget, behind education.
He said the health sector would be built on three key pillars: the creation of centres of excellence; the repositioning of medical education and medical tourism; and the development of the Couva Hospital into a full teaching hospital in collaboration with UWI.
Imbert said he has instructed the Chief Personnel Officer to investigate the contracts of nurses employed on short-term contracts with the view to regularising their employment status. He said he expected this to be completed by the end of December 2021.
The Finance Minister also announced the removal of VAT and customs duties on specified therapy equipment for the hearing impaired, visually impaired, physical mobility disabilities, safety peripherals and communications, which will help people with disabilities buy the required peripherals and equipment at a reduced cost. This measure will take effect on January 1, 2022.