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Medical Benefits Act

Published: 1978

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Medical Benefits (CAP. 271 1



Arrangement of Sections

1. Short title.
2. Interpretation.
3 . Establishment of Medical Benefits Scheme.
4. The Superintendent.
5. Medical Benefits Board.
6. Remuneration of Board etc.
7 . Staff of the Board.
8. Terms and conditions of employment with Board.
9. Invigilators.

10. Accounts and control of funds.
11. Audit.
12. Power to make regulations.
13. Regulations subject to negative resolution.



(1st October, 1978.)

1. This Act may be cited as the Medical Benefits Act. Short tit'e.

2. In this Act- Interpretation.

"Minister" means the Minister responsible for the sub-
ject of Health;


2 CAP. 271) Medical Benefits

" wages" shall have the same meaning as that assigned
Cap. 408. to it by the Social Security Act.

Establishment of
Medical Benefits

3. (1) There is hereby established a scheme, to be
Scheme. called the Medical Benefits Scheme (hereinafter called "the

Scheme)" under which arrangements shall be made for the
provision of such financial and other assistance towards the
cost of medical benefits to such class or classes of persons
in such circumstances and subject to such conditions as may
be prescribed by regulations.

(2) The Scheme shall be funded by a contribution of
every insured person equivalent to two and one-half per cent
of his wages and a contribution of every employer equivalent
to two and one-half per cent of the wages of every person
employed by him:

Provided that-

(a) where the wages payable to an insured person
are less than twenty dollars weekly or eighty-seven dollars
monthly, a contribution of five per cent of his wages
shall be payable wholly by the employer; and

(6) no contribution shall be payable either by the
insured person or his employer, in respect of so much
of the wages payable to the insured person as exceed
the maximum wages upon which contributions are
payable under the provisions of the Social Security Act.

(3) Except as may be provided in this Act or any regula-
tion made hereunder, all the provisions of the Social Security
Act as amended from time to time including that relating
to civil and criminal proceedings shall apply to the imposi-
tion, collection and general administration of the Scheme
to the same extent as if the contribution provided for in this
Act were a contribution provided for under that Act.

(4) For the purposes of this section the words "insured
person7', "employer" and "person employed" or any varia-
tion thereof shall have the same meanings in this Act as they
have under the Social Security Act.


4. (1) The Public Service Commission shall appoint
a fit and proper person to be the Chief Administrative Officer


Medical Benefits (CAP. 271 3

of the Scheme (in this Act referred to as "the
Superintendent ").

(2) The Superintendent shall, subject to the provisions
of this Act and the general direction of the Board, be respon-
sible for the direction of the staff of the Board and for the
management of the Scheme and in particular for-

(a) the collection of contributions under this Act;

(6) the payment of medical benefits under this Act
\ , - ,

and the expenditure necessary for the administration
of the Scheme.

5 . (1) There is hereby established a board to be call- E$l Benefits
ed the Medical Benefits Board of Control, in which the funds
of the Scheme shall be vested and which shall, subject to
the provisions of this Act, be responsible for administering
the Scheme, and the provisions of the Schedule shall apply schedule.
as respects the constitution of the Board and its proceedings.

(2) The Board shall be a body corporate with perpetual
succession and common seal and shall, in its corporate name,
be capable of suing and being sued and, subject to the pro-
visions of this Act, of purchasing or otherwise acquiring,
holding, charging and alienating real or personal property
and of doing or performing such acts as bodies corporate
may by law do or perform.

(3) The Board shall have a Head Office in the City of
Saint John's and service on the Board of any notice, order
or other document shall be executed by delivering the same
or by sending the same by post, addressed to the Superinten-
dent at the Head Office.

(4) The seal of the Board shall be kept in the custody
of the Superintendent and shall not be affixed to any instru-
ment except by the authority of a resolution of the Board,
and sealing of any instrument shall be authenticated by the
signature of the Superintendent and of such other person
as the Board may appoint for the purpose.

(5) The Board shall consider and advise upon all mat-
ters which may from time to time be referred to it by the

CAP. '271)


Medical Benefits

Minister and shall furnish to the Minister such information
as he may reasonably require about the operation of the Act.

Remuneration of
Board etc.

6. There shall be paid out of the Scheme-
(a) to the chairman, deputy chairman and each

member of the Board in respect of his office as such,
such remuneration and allowances (if any) as the
Minister may determine; and

( 6 ) to any person co-opted to a meeting of the
Board, and to any person, not being a member of the
Board, who serves on a committee of the Board, such
remuneration and allowances as the Minister may deter-
mine upon a recommendation by the Board.

Staff of the

7. The Superintendent may from time to time, acting
upon the advice of the Board, appoint persons to be officers
or employees of the Board.

Terms and
conditions of

8. The terms and conditions of employment of officers
employment with and employees of the Board other than those of the
Board. Superintendent shall be prescribed from time to time by the

Minister and shall be no less favourable than those prescribed
for public servants of similar grades.

Invigilators. 9. (1 ) The Board may designate such officers or
employees in its service as it thinks fit to be invigilators for
the purposes of this Act.

(2) Every invigilator shall be furnished with a certificate
of his appointment and on applying for admission to any
premises or place for the purposes of this Act shall produce
the certificate.

(3) The premises or places liable to inspection under
this section shall include any premises or place where an
invigilator has reasonable cause to believe that any persons
are employed whether or not such premises or place is used
exclusively for residential purposes.

(4) An invigilator shall for the purposes of this Act have
power to enter at all reasonable times any premises or place
liable to inspection under this Act and there make any
examination or inquiry necessary for the purposes of this


Medical Ben.@ (CAP. 271 5

Act, and to require the production of any document relating
to contributions or the liability to contribute to the Scheme,
for inspection by him on the said premises or place and to
copy such documents or make extracts therefrom.

(5) The occupier of any premises or place liable to in-
spection under this section, and any other person who is or
has been employing any person, and the servants or agents
of any such occupier or other person, shall furnish to an
invigilator all such information and shall produce for his
inspection all such documents as the invigilator may
reasonably require.

(6) Any person who without reasonable cause obstructs,
impedes, hinders, molests or refuses admission to, an in-
vigilator in the exercise of any power under this section, or
refuses or neglects to furnish any information or produce
any document when required to do so under this section shall
be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on summary con-
viction to a fine not exceeding seven hundred and fifty dollars.

10. (1) All moneys collected on behalf of the Scheme P,",",";f;;gtd,.
shall be paid into a general deposit account in a bank called
"the Medical Benefits Scheme General Account".

(2) Disbursements from this account shall be made only
upon the written instructions of the Minister.

(3) There shall also be an account at some other Bank
called "the Medical Benefits Scheme Supplies and Services
Accounts" into which funds shall be placed from the general
account and from which expenses relating to supplies pur-
chased and services rendered for the Scheme shall be met.

(4) There shall be a third account at a bank called "the
Medical Benefits Scheme Administration Accounts" into
which funds shall be placed from the general account and
from which expenses relating to the Administration of the
Scheme shall be met.

(5) Each account shall be controlled by two or more
officers designated by the Minister from time to time.


6 CAP. 271) Medical Benefits

Audit. 1 . (1) The Board shall cause to be kept proper books
of accounts, and other books and records in relation thereto,
in which shall be recorded all financial transactions of the

(2) The accounts of the Scheme shall be prepared in
such form and at such times as the Minister may direct,
and shall be audited annually by such person as the Board,
with the approval of the Minister, may appoint.

(3) The Director of Audit, or such person as the Direc-
tor of Audit may nominate, shall at all times have the right
to inspect the accounts of the Scheme, and to report thereon.

(4) The Board shall submit to the Minister every
account, certified by the appointed auditor in accordance
with subsection (2), within one month of the date of such

(5) The Minister shall as soon as possible after receiv-
ing an account in accordance with subsection (4), lay a copy
thereof before Parliament.

Power to make

12. The Minister may make such regulations as are
required by this Act to be made for the effective administra-
tion of the Scheme and provide for contributions from and
benefits to such class or classes of persons as are not now
included in the provisions of this Act as he may consider
necessary or desirable and generally for the better carrying
into effect of the administration of this Act.

subject to

13. Any regulations made under this Act shall be laid
negative before the House of Representatives and shall be subject to
resolution. annulment in pursuance of a resolution made by the House

of Representatives.


Medical Benefits (CAP. 271 7

SCHEDULE Section 5 ( 1 )

Constitution and Procedure of Medical Benefits Board of

1. The Board shall consist of such number of persons, not Constitution of
the Board. being less than seven, as the Minister may from time to time


2. The Members of the Board shall be appointed by the ~ ; " , " ~ ~ ~ ~ t of
Minister by instrument in writing and, subject to the provisions
of this Schedule, shall hold Office for such period, not exceeding
three years, as the Minister may direct in such instrument.

3. Every member of the Board shall be eligible for Reappointment.

4. The Minister shall appoint one of the members of the Chairman and
Board to be chairman thereof and another to be deputy chairman &:in.

5 . If the chairman, deputy chairman or any other member Acting
Appointments. of the Board is unable to act, the Minister may appoint any per-

son to act in the place of such chairman, deputy chairman or other

6. (1) Any member of the Board, other than the chairman, Resignations.
may at any time resign his Office by instrument in writing
addressed to the Minister and transmitted through the chairman,
and from the date of receipt by the Minister of such instrument
such member shall cease to be a member of the Board.

(2) The chairman may at any time resign his office by
instrument in writing addressed to the Minister and such resigna-
tion shall take effect as from the date of the receipt by the Minister
of such instrument.

7. The Minister may, on the application of any member, Leave.
grant leave of absence to such member.

8. A member of the Board who is directly or indirectly Disclosure.
interested in a contract made or proposed to be made by the

(a) shall disclose the nature of his interest at a meeting
of the Board; and


8 CAP. 271) Medical Beneftj


(b) shall not take part in any deliberation or decision
of the Board with respect to that contract.

9. The quorum for any meeting of the Board shall be three
including the chairman or deputy chairman, one of whom shall
preside at all meetings; the Superintendent or his deputy shall
be present at all meetings; and the Board may act notwithstan-
ding any vacancy in its membership.

Majority of 10. The decision of the Board shall be by a majority of
votes. votes, and in the event of an equality of votes the chairman

presiding at the meeting shall have a casting vote.

Minutes of 11. Minutes of each meeting shall be kept in proper form
Meeting of
Board. by such officer of the Board as the Board may appoint for the

purpose, and shall be confirmed by the Board at its next meeting
and signed by the chairman or deputy chairman as the case may be.

Revocation. 12. The Minister may at any time revoke the appointment
of any member if he thinks it expedient so to do.

Proceedings. 13. Subject to the provisions of this Act, the Board shall
have power to regulate its own proceedings.