Public outcry prompts recall of Yap’s health services fee hike

Updated: Feb 17

Colonia, Yap-- Gov. Henry Falan has rolled back health care fee increases implemented by his predecessor three years ago, following a community group's protest over a lack of public consultation on rate changes.

In an executive order issued Feb. 15, Falan noted that “a proposal for [a] schedule of health services fee increase needs extensive and exhaustive discussion within the government, and between the government and the public.”

The cost of medical care is heavily subsidized in the four states of the Federated States of Micronesia. But with costs rising, key personnel in various divisions within the Yap government conducted a review of the island’s fee schedule for the Department of Health Services in 2016 “with a view to see what services, tests, and medicines were still offered and being used, and what were not.”

The team addressed “actual costing on current services, then applying a discount to ensure medicines and services [were] still affordable to residents.”

The 2016 review was the first attempt by the state’s DHS to conduct a thorough assessment of costs and prices since it had been set in place in 1989. There had been updates over the years, but none were made official and charges for medical procedures, prescriptions and general hospital services were often inconsistent.

It was time to develop