Categorized | National News

PM Reaffirms Gov’t Commitment to NHI

Prime Minister Perry Christie once again defended his administration’s plans to implement National Health Insurance (NHI), he lamented that many Bahamians have died from their inability to afford health care and he stressed that it is the government’s obligation to intervene and protect the poor.

In the midst of widespread outcry to a proposed tax to fund NHI, Mr. Christie said he is amazed at the opposition to the health insurance plan when no final decision has been made on how it will be funded.

“There are thousands of people in our country who cannot purchase the environment for themselves and their children that are conducive to good health, safe living environment and they are challenged every day of their lives,” he said.

While offering remarks during the Agribusiness Expo on Thursday, Mr. Christie said that there is a huge difference between the rich and the poor in the country and for this reason his administration will not compromise on the matter of NHI.

“There is a tremendous contrast between the rich and the poor but the government has the obligations to manage the economy, to encourage people to get richer, to somehow stop them from getting poorer, to have a pathway for those who live in the pits of despair to give them the belief and show them the way that they can become a part of that shining city on the hill.”

Mr. Christie reassured that he will not allow the Bahamian people and the economy to suffer from the implementation of NHI.

“Bahamians cannot possibly believe that I’m stupid. Why would they think a government that is bringing a resurgence in the economy would plunge the economy back into a recession by making decisions on the roll out of health care?” he asked.

According to a report from Costa Rican consultant’s Sanigest International, NHI could cost between $360 million to $633 million if implemented as a comprehensive package

At last report Health Minister Dr. Perry Gomez had said that the Blue Ribbon Commission had recommended that there be a 5.4 per cent tax on salary to fund NHI.

The commission was formed to lay the foundation for NHI.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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