Agreement to Give OECS Citizens Easier Access to Medical Care in French Islands

OECS Director General, Dr. Didacus Jules (right) and CGSS General Director, Henri Yacou signed the agreement.

CASTRIES, St Lucia, Wednesday September 5, 2018
– The Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Commission and the General Social Security Fund of Guadeloupe (CGSS) have signed an agreement that will allow citizens of the sub-region to get easier access to medical facilities in the French territories in the Eastern Caribbean.

The three-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), recently signed by Director General of the OECS Commission, Dr Didacus Jules, and General Director of CGSS, Henri Yacou, addresses the administrative, logistical and financial barriers that OECS member states face when accessing health services in the French Departments in the Eastern Caribbean.

It also facilitates 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”, a statement from the OECS 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,” Dr Jules said. “We look forward to deepening areas of cooperation in the years ahead.”

Yacou said he hoped the project would 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.

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