Categorized | National News

Gov’t To Launch 10-Year Health Plan

Health Minister Dr. Perry Gomez said the government is on its way to implementing a 10-year national health plan that will seek to modernise one of the country’s most crucial sectors.

“The Ministry of Health will finalise and seek to have adopted a 10-year National Health Strategic Plan that contains a new vision for health in The Bahamas and which will establish the framework for strengthening our health systems and services,” he said.

“Improvements in health outcomes will be monitored and during this fiscal period the National Health Services Strategic Plan will be present to Cabinet and consultation will begin with all our stakeholders.”

Through this 10-year plan, Dr. Gomez said specific attention will be paid to changing performance management systems, improving financial management systems in his ministry and the Public Hospital Authority (PHA).

During his contribution to the 2012/2013 budget debate in the House of Assembly, Dr. Gomez said while The Bahamas can tout one of the best in the region, Dr. Gomez said Monday that the country can do much more in this regard and reiterated the government’s plans for National Health Insurance (NHI) financing and the timeline for its implementation.

“This is important for our people as many do not have health insurance,” he said. “Some are underinsured for many reasons, some are denied coverage for pre-existing conditions and many cannot afford the insurance premiums. We are a nation who cares for our brothers and this means we must all contribute.

“We must care for our fellowman, rich and poor. During the 2012/2013 fiscal period the ministry will focus on the financial modeling of the National Health Insurance scheme.”

Additionally, Dr. Gomez said the country has a major task on its hand as it relates to infant mortality.

He said his goal is to reduce infant mortality by two-thirds by 2015.

“The Ministry of Health will closely monitor these indicators, and I shall report on these outcomes semi-annually,” Dr. Gomez added. “In order to reduce childhood mortality, the expanded programme on immunisation will include two new vaccines – pneumococcal and chicken pox vaccine.

“The budget also includes funding for the purchase of a new cold storage facility for the storage of vaccines. This is a need for vaccine security and will have relevant state-of-the-art equipment and apparatus.”

He added that plans are also in the works to further clamp down on non-communicable diseases that plague all Caribbean countries, including The Bahamas.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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