Find Health and Medical expertise in St Kitts and Nevis

St Kitts and Nevis has four public hospitals; three are in St Kitts and one is in Nevis. Of these hospitals, the largest is the Joseph N. France General Hospital in Basseterre. There are also 17 health clinics spread across the two islands. The country has no private hospitals, but there are a number of private doctors’ clinics.

The St Kitts and Nevis government is an active participant in the Eastern Caribbean Drug Service, which is a regional pooled procurement scheme for importing pharmaceuticals and medical supplies. This enables the country to maximise the value of health care services to its citizens through the advantage of collective bulk buying along with neighbouring countries. The country’s pharmaceuticals industry remains largely unregulated, with the exception of dangerous drugs.

St Kitts and Nevis has a fairly efficient primary health care system, with community clinics providing health care services to citizens at no cost; the services offered include screening for cervical cancer, family planning, and obstetrics and gynaecological care. Secondary health care services are usually provided at low cost and are free for children and the elderly. As of 2010, work place health screening programmes were being implemented across the islands.

The government of St Kitts and Nevis is heavily involved in reforms to move the country towards universal health coverage. In July 2014 a National Consultation on Universal Health Coverage was convened, organised by the Ministry of Health in conjunction with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). PAHO observed that St Kitts and Nevis had made great moves towards universal health coverage at the primary and secondary levels, and that the political will exists in the country to move this further. The issue at present is with expanding universal health coverage to bridge gaps in administration and access to post-secondary services – lack of funding is a significant issue here.

Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) accounted for an estimated 83% of all mortality in St Kitts and Nevis in 2008. The most prevalent NCDs are cardiovascular diseases, which accounted for 37% of total deaths across all age groups in 2008. Cancer, non-communicable variants of respiratory diseases and diabetes contributed 18%, 2% and 10% to total mortality, respectively (2008). Communicable diseases along with maternal, perinatal and nutritional conditions in St Kitts and Nevis accounted for an estimated 8% of all mortality in 2008. A government paper on HIV/AIDS reported a cumulative 358 HIV cases (110 of which resulted in death) in the period 1984–2013. St Kitts and Nevis is a non-endemic country for malaria. Estimated incidence of and estimated mortality (when mortality data excludes cases comorbid with HIV) from tuberculosis (TB) have risen overall since 1990, although both are lower now than they were in 1996. The current incidence rate is 4.6 incidences per 100,000 people.

Government expenditure

A little less than two-fifths of health care in St Kitts and Nevis (39%) was government funded in 2012. The remaining 61% was paid for by patients or funded by other non-governmental entities, such as private insurers, charities or employers. Total health expenditure constituted 5.9% of GDP in 2012. Expenditure by government amounts to US$324 per capita.

In 2013 government expenditure on health was 2.3% of GDP. In the most recent survey, conducted between 1997 and 2010, there were 110 doctors, and 471 nurses and midwives per 100,000 people. Additionally, in 2011, 100% of births were attended by qualified health staff and in 2013, 99% of one-year-olds were immunised with a dose of measles. In 2014, 98% of people were using an improved drinking water source and in 2011, 96% had access to adequate sanitation facilities. The most recent survey, conducted in the period 2000–11, reports that St Kitts and Nevis has 50 pharmaceutical personnel per 100,000 people.

St Kitts and Nevis is not a signatory to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the covenant that commits signees to ensuring ‘the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health’.

Health and Medical organisations in St Kitts and Nevis
Ministry of Health, Social and Community Development and Gender Affairs
Saint Theresa's Medical University