Categorized | National News

“Gov’t Will Not Be Held Hostage,” says Gibson

Minister of Labour and National Insurance Shane Gibson says the government will not be held hostage by opposers of National Health Insurance (NHI).

“What we will not allow anybody to do is hold us hostage. If you have healthcare providers who say they will not participate, why should we not prepare for it. If all of the providers give access to everyone as we anticipate, then we will have less of a role to pay,” Minister Gibson said while speaking to reporters yesterday.

The minister stressed that Prime Minister Perry Christie has promised that nothing will happen until wide spread consolation takes place with all of the stakeholders.

“I’ve been in meeting with stakeholders who I saw in the papers subsequent to that who said, they had no meetings with us. No meetings and no consultation in my mind to them means, ‘if I can’t have it my way then I’m going to tell the public I’m not a part of the process,’” the minister said.

“If anyone knows Prime Minister Christie, he’s huge on consultation. He has said nothing will happen unless you have wide spread consultation with the stakeholders. And so for those that have an issue with anything we’re doing, our doors are open.”

Many persons in the community have questioned the government about the cost of National Health Insurance; however Minister Gibson says the government is focused on saving lives.

“For those who are scrutinizing the process, let them keep focusing on the cost. We are focusing on saving lives, and a healthy Bahamas,” Minister Gibson said.

He added that even without the support of some doctors, NHI will still be introduced.

The minister said although many persons have said that NHI is to compete with healthcare providers, NHI is simply there to provide options.

According to the minister of labour, the prime minister will make the announcement for the cost of NHI.

Yesterday, the first day of a two-day compliance symposium kicked off.

The objectives of the symposium are to examine the performance of the National Insurance Board, to discuss and inform on 2016 objectives and strategies to achieve those adjectives.

“In 2013 and 2014, the Compliance Department exceeded its target of budgeted contributions by more than$5 million. Though you fell short of your Broad Target of $263 million by around $7 million last year, there is evidence that this crucial department has made some admirable strides,” Minister Gibson said.

Minister Gibson said that the need for greater improvements in their performance is a must to ensure to the “sustainability of the fund”.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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