Categorized | National News

UHC to Result in Positive Transformation of Healthcare Industry

The introduction of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in The Bahamas through the National Health Insurance Plan beginning January 2016 will allow for the transformation of the healthcare industry into a more patient-care-centered system that will promote equity and increased accessibility.

“We expect to see increased accessibility and equity as a result of what is being planned for the healthcare quality improvements throughout the archipelago,” Minister of Health Dr. Perry Gomez said on Monday.

“All of us in the healthcare industry are very fortunate to be able to participate in such a positive transformation of the industry to a more patient-care-centered, quality driven re-engineered delivery model system,” Dr. Gomez added.

Addressing a Ministry of Health/Pan American Health Organization Workshop on Universal Health Coverage at the British Colonial Hilton, Dr. Gomez said a recent Harvard publication indicated that Universal Health Coverage was shown to have “demonstrable positive impacts” on quality of life and GDP (Gross Domestic Product) in a cross-section of countries ranging from low to middle and high-income.

“There is absolutely no reason to believe we, in The Bahamas, ought to expect anything less of a positive impact in the local scenario where there is considerable room to improve healthcare services,” Dr. Gomez said.

“I am confident that, working together, we shall accomplish this noble goal and this PAHO Workshop – over the next two and one-half days – will better prepare the system for the now anticipated NHI public launch in 2016.

“As minister of health, I am pleased that you have convened in a workshop [that will] further help to strengthen the healthcare system in preparation for the introduction of Universal Health Coverage in The Bahamas,” Dr. Gomez added.

The workshop is one of many sessions local healthcare officials have undertaken in an effort to ensure that the “best practices” are included in the National Health Insurance Plan for The Bahamas.

Public health officials have been meeting with small, medium and large businesses, civic organizations, various religious groups and denominations, community groups, unions, government agencies, departments, ministries and corporations, private and public healthcare officials, healthcare facilities, and many other stakeholders as they move towards the introduction of Universal Health Coverage.

Dr. Gomez said “anecdotal surveys” among the staff in private and public sectors, although mixed, have “definitely shown” a majority of support for the implementation of National Health Insurance.

He said a meeting with members of the Bahamas Christian Council and other clergy members “from leading religious organizations, made it very clear that it should be done in the most cost-effective manner” after due consideration is given to all pertinent aspects being addressed before the country is ready to proceed.

Dr. Gomez said the workshop was an important ‘milestone’ in this particular journey.

“The presence of this cross-representation of the key stakeholders will allow for knowledge transfer and re-alignment of strategies to focus on achieving the best outcomes,” Dr. Gomez said.

“Most of the thinking and ideas around the vital benefit package, the proposed Model of Care, and the concepts of the pathway to single governance will be re-visited, fine-tuned and crystallized for harmonization and synergy.

“The preparedness process has not just begun in earnest,” Dr. Gomez continued, “but is gaining momentum as the involvement of stakeholder groups are expanded with in-depth participation.”

Written by Jones Bahamas

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