This article originally appeared in the Beacon’s print edition on Jan. 17.

From 2016 through last year, the National Health Insurance programme paid out roughly $1.95 million more than it collected, according to Health and Social Development Minister Marlon Penn.

Mr. Penn disclosed the numbers during a House of Assembly sitting on Tuesday, specifying that the revenue collected by NHI over the past three years was $233,632,507, but the total amount expended to cover “claims, administration and general expenses” was $235,585,881.

Opposition member Andrew Fahie asked the minister in a follow-up question if, based on those figures, there are concerns about the programme’s sustainability. Mr. Penn said he was “not equipped” to provide an answer.

“The reality is that we’ve just gotten the actual reports on the project,” he said. “The team from the Social Security [Board], NHI, [and] the ministry are looking at those numbers and looking at ways to improve the system.”

The minister did not go into detail about what improvements might be undertaken.

Contribution breakdown

In 2016 NHI collected $41,326,300 in contributions from government and $34,103,860 in contributions from “other sources,” for a total of $75,430,160, Mr. Penn reported.

The following year, government contributed $42 million and other sources contributed $37,832,819, for a total of $79,832,819.

Finally, in 2018, government provided another $42 million and other sources gave $36,369,528, for a total of $78,369,528.

The total amount expended by NHI was $73,426,645 in 2016; $80,479,662 in 2017; and $81,679,574 in 2018.

Mr. Penn reminded the House that figures for last year are preliminary since financial records are still being reconciled.