Categorized | National News

NHI Secretariat June Activity

The NHI Secretariat continued to meet with Bahamians across the archipelago with stops in Mayaguana, Abaco, Acklins and Crooked Island during the month of June, as well as engaging with stakeholder and travelling to South Africa for a bilateral exchange of information.

Ms. Catherine Weech, Hospital Administrator and NHI Health System Strengthening Consultant visited Mayaguana on June 10th, where she met with local residents representing a cross section of persons in the community, including heads of local government, Ministry of Works, Water and Sewage, and religious leaders. Questions by attendees focused on issues related to sourcing of NHI funding and the process beyond primary health care and the decision making process around access to catastrophic coverage. Ms. Weech also presented at a community church service on Sunday June 12th.

Ms. Elizabeth Keju, NHI Consultant, Administration and Public Management of Change, travelled to Abaco on June 22nd, making presentations at Baker’s Bay, Sandy Point and Crossing Rock. The presentations were well attended, and were coordinated by South Abaco Administrator Mrs. Laverne Harris-Smith and attended by Mr. Edison Key, Member of Parliament for the constituency along with leaders within the South Abaco District.

Mrs. Jacqueline Estevez, Chief Councillor for South Abaco District said, “Residents should become familiar with NHI because it is in their best interest as it will provide better healthcare services for all Bahamians.”

Mr. Key echoed her sentiments: “It doesn’t matter which government is in power, we all need health insurance because we are all Bahamians and we want to live healthy lives.” He also added that given his own previous health concerns, “The Government is doing a good thing with the implementation of NHI because it will help Bahamians.”

Further, the Secretariat visited the clinic at Marsh Harbour and spoke with the administrator.

The same day, June 22nd, Permanent Secretary for National Health Insurance Peter Deveaux-Isaacs travelled to Acklins and spoke to more than 50 people, representing community members from across the entire island of Acklins and included heads of local government, the island administrator’s office team, health workers, fishermen, and members of the religious community.

Persons were very engaged with the presentation, and questions focused how will NHI Bahamas facilitate health services for persons living in the Family Islands, eligibility of persons for NHI Bahamas and what constitutes a legal Bahamian resident. The Hon. V. Alfred Gray, Member of Parliament for MICAL, conference called into the meeting to also address the residents.

“NHI Bahamas will not only benefit our community but also the future generation and development of our country,” commented Minister Gray.

After the town hall, one resident noted: “I am very grateful for the NHI Secretariat taking the time out to speak to the people of Acklins. Education is key and this information will benefit the people of Acklins. NHI Bahamas is so important because even though I am getting older, my kids and grandkids will need it. I am supporting NHI Bahamas for them. They deserve good health care.”

Following the successful meeting in Acklins, Permanent Secretary Deveaux-Isaacs travelled to Crooked Island for a town hall on June 23rd. More than 40 persons were in attendance, and were very engaged and supported NHI Bahamas. In addition to questions asked around access to private doctors and services, residents were also interested in the process of referral beyond your primary health care doctor. Most persons in attendance, in anticipation of NHI Bahamas, had already registered and received their new NIB smart card.

Peter Deveaux-Isaacs noted that, “With NHI Bahamas, patients are at the centre of care in this plan. We are transforming a system that is focused on curing ailments to one that will promote healthy lifestyles and prevention of catastrophic illnesses. Bahamians absolutely deserve this and we plan to deliver.”

The NHI Secretariat team also coordinated several smaller community gatherings with residents on Friday June 24th to answer any additional questions or concerns of the plan.

Also in June, members of the NHI Secretariat travelled to South Africa to observe and evaluate best practices for the implementation of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in The Bahamas. A team consisting of Dr. Delon Brennen, NHI Project Manager; Dr. Kevin Bowe, Deputy Director, National Health Insurance & Special Projects, National Insurance Board and Ms. Damara Dillett, NHI Legal Counsel travelled to Johannesburg and to Cape Town the week of 13th of June, 2016. The purpose of the trip was to facilitate a bilateral exchange of information and a global approach to building the best UHC model for Bahamians.

The month of June was also busy with activity on the stakeholder engagement front, with multiple meetings with organisations including: the Medical Association of The Bahamas, the Bahamas Insurance Association, the Bahamas Association of Physiotherapists, the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers’ Confederation and others. Stakeholders also participated in two UHC Stakeholder Advisory Council meeting, on June 9th and June 28th, continuing to share their expertise and advise on NHI Bahamas.



Summary of activity:


Town hall meetings:


  • June 10: Mayaguana
  • June 22: Abaco
  • June 22: Acklins
  • June 23: Crooked Island



Stakeholder consultations:


  • June 9th: Meeting of the UHC Executive Steering Committee
  • June 9th: Meeting of the UHC Stakeholder Advisory Council
  • June 10th: Consultations with representatives of the Medical Association of The Bahamas
  • June 10th: Consultations with representatives of the Bahamas Insurance Association
  • June 28th: Meeting of the UHC Stakeholder Advisory Council
  • June 29th: Consultations with representatives of the Bahamas Association of Physiotherapists
  • June 29th:Consultations with representative of Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers’ Confederation
  • June 29th: Consultations with representatives of Trade Unions
  • June 29th: Consultations with physicians


Speaking engagements:


  • June 16th: Midwifery Association of The Bahamas


More information on NHI Bahamas can be found at


Written by Jones Bahamas

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