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Lillian Swann-Missick Is New NHIB Board Chair

From left: Interim NHIP CEO Tamera Robinson; Permanent Secretary Desiree Lewis; New Chairman for the NHIB Lillian Swann-Missick; and Minister of Health and Human Services.

She has been classified as having a strong governance fortitude and will bring a wealth of experience to the job, but the main for Lillian Swann-Missick as the new chairman of the National Health Insurance Board (NHIB) is simply to make those who need the service “live longer”.

The former parliamentarian, who has been described by many as a voice of reason in the House of Assembly, was officially introduced to the staff and media the chair for this critical entity on Monday, July 31, at the new National Health Insurance Plan office located on the Salt Mills Plaza in the unit recently vacated by the FirstCaribbean Bank’s Grace Bay Branch.

Missick said based on initial meetings concerning the NHIB, this challenge should be her most daunting yet.

“I can tell you that based on some of the preliminary that I have had, this is going to be my most challenging and difficult board, and I have chaired many,” Swann-Missick told reporters, however, quickly adding that her decision to accept the NHIB Board Chair emanates from her passion to serve and a desire to look challenge dead in the eye and dare it.

“I am a service-oriented individual. I have chaired other bodies that faced challenges. And I believe, given my view, and given the type of person that I am, I feel that I can rise to challenges. I believe that I have the will and the wherewithal to overcome challenges, basically because my approach to life is that everything should be done equitably, fairly, and do it because it is the right thing to do,” she asserted.

For his part, Minister of Health and Human Services Hon. Shaun Malcolm stated that Swann-Missick has the full confidence of his ministry in getting the job done.

“As the minister who overseas NHIB…being the minister now for just over seven months…and knowing where we are at, and finding the right person, which was not an easy job to do, to help us refocus this board, I know, and I have full confidence that the Hon. Lillian Swann-Missick can accomplish that goal in the best interests of the people of this country. She enjoys my full confidence as the minister,” Minister Malcolm said.

Turning to the new Appeals Tribunal, chaired by attorney Mark Fulford, and included Bishop Coleta Williams and Jena Janse, Minister Malcolm stated that the decision was to refocus the machination of the NHIB.

“It is all about refocusing the board. It is a requirement in the Ordinance to have an appeals process, and so, it is just fulfilling that mandate. And with that team, I do have full confidence that that area would get cleaned up as well,” Minister Malcolm said.

Permanent Secretary Desiree Lewis pointed out that Swann-Missick would bring strength to the NHIB.

“I echo the sentiments of the minister with regarding appointing Mrs. Lillian Swann-Missick as the chair. Knowing Mrs. Missick, and having worked with her for a number of years I know she comes with a strong background in governance, and I believe that she will bring value to the board, and also to the TCIG and working with the NIB,” Lewis said.

She added: “The interim CEO (Tamera Robinson) will be a good duo in terms of ensuring that the changes that we need are made, and that we remain consistent. Mrs. Missick alluded in her statement about equity and fairness. I remember years ago when we were doing the island campaign on NHIP, those were the words that we echoed…that the scheme would be based on equity, and that is what we want.

“We want fairness, but one of the key things that we also want is best health outcomes. And so, we look for the changes as it relates to treatment abroad and to the management to the scheme on a whole, and to bring in new ideas as to how we can best serve the people of the Turks and Caicos Islands, and ensuring that we work in collaboration with the hospital and the ministry of health, particularly our Primary Healthcare Department, as all three organizations should work in tandem, and achieving the goals.”

In the meantime, Robinson disclosed that she was looking forward to working with Missick to achieve a great deal of the NHIB goals.

“I look forward to working with madam chair. I think the last board we did quite a bit of work. We are still on that curve to make the change. And so, as PS Lewis said, that governance strength that madam chair brings will help us to really finetune and get the best out of the organization, so we can meet those goals to building a healthy nation one person at a time,” Robinson noted.



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