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“Money Wasted on Healthcare,” Says Sands

Health Minister - Top Photo

Health Minister - Top PhotoMinister of Health Dr. Duane Sands yesterday charged that there has been a significant amount of wastage financially by the previous Christie administration within the healthcare system.

According to the newly appointed health minister, there appears to have been expenditure in excess of over $100 million spent by the previous government involving pending commitments.

Dr. Sands spoke to reporters after being led on an official tour of the Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) yesterday morning.

“That means, as we proceed, we’re going to have to find monies to deal with those commitments as we deliver services going forward. That is a very, very concerning reality. That being in an era of transparency and accountability, we believe the Bahamian people have to k
now what commitments have been made in their name,” Dr. Sands insisted.

Getting the healthcare system up to par is paramount on the government’s to do list as it has said this is necessary for the successful facilitation of National Health Insurance (NHI).

The government has assured it would not only sustain NHI, but expand it to include secondary and tertiary care as well.

Not expanding too much on how and when the government proposes to execute this aspect of the plan, Dr. Sands said for now it is a step-by-step process towards the finish line.

“There are some realities as it relates to the budgetary challenges being faced by the administration. Tomorrow the Cabinet of The Bahamas will meet, and on Wednesday the Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance will outline the budgetary priorities,” said Dr. Sands.

“At that point, the people of The Bahamas will see that we will put our money where our mouth is and will get a snap shot into the plans the way forward.”

“The team at NHI was given their charge. They are aware of the changes we’re going to make in terms of the service delivery and method of delivery of that service. As we retune the public relations campaign, the advertisements, the educational aspects of NHI, Bahamian people would want what was promised to them.”

Meantime, the minister of health accused the previous Christie administration of insufficiently funding the universal health scheme.

“NHI, under the previous administration, was never funded. There was no plan put in place as to how NHI would be sustained,” Dr. Sands charged.

“We having now been given a mandate by the Bahamian people to manage their affairs, we have to demonstrate how this can be a sustainable programme that has a lasting impact providing value for the Bahamian people.”

Last month saw the roll out of NHI primary care.

At last count more than 15,000 individuals had enrolled for the plan.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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