Categorized | National News

NHI Disappoints Sands

After a week’s debate on the National Health Insurance bill, FNM Senator Dr. Duane says it’s nothing but a “national disappointment”.

Dr. Sands, who is also a noted cardiologist, said Bahamians should feel disappointed with last week’s presentation on NHI.

“I believe that what has been presented to Parliament, the entire Bahamian population should feel disappointed that after 30 years of discussion, this is the best we can do,” he said in an interview with the Bahama Journal.

“There is no plan. The bill has no specifics. It simply says it’s primary care. Nobody has any idea except perhaps the government as to what is likely to happen. It is one big secret. What we’re doing is, were writing the government a blank cheque, we’ve put the number in $125 million, and go ahead and spend it as you see fit.”

Dr. Sands says the passing of the bill is nothing more than an election gimmick.

“They have the numbers in Parliament in order to get it passed. And they are going to say they have done this wonderful thing for the Bahamian people, although they can’t say what’s included in this wonderful thing,” the prominent cardiologist said.

NHI will include five phases; Phase one will be registration, phase two, enrollment, phase three, phase four, selective catastrophic coverage, phase five full benefits coverage.

Enrollment of NHI requires all persons to possess a National Health Insurance (NIB) smart card.

Officials say eligible citizens and legal residents of The Bahamas will have access to a full range of benefits needed to restore and maintain optimum health under the proposed National Health Insurance Plan.

These include access to all primary care services when presenting to a registered primary care provider; primary care prescription drugs (diabetes, hypertension and asthma) when the recognized physician says they are needed; laboratory tests, ultrasounds, X-rays and other primary care diagnostic services; health education and prevention services and selected catastrophic services that address the most burdensome diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular disease.

Other benefits include coverage for any pre-existing conditions.

This coverage will continue throughout one’s lifetime.

There will be no financial limit on the total cost of healthcare services one can receive. Eligible persons must present their NIB Smart Card when they present for care as providers may ask for full pay from the client without the card.

Another key benefit of the Plan is the ability to receive care from public as well as private sector doctors, pharmacies and laboratories that are registered NHI Providers.

Health Minister Dr. Perry Gomez has said Bahamians enrolled in the NHI Plan, will be allowed to keep a complimentary, private health insurance plan to give them access to those services not provided by NHI.

“Some persons who are fortunate enough to have private health insurance are worried about what will happen to their policies when NHI is introduced. I want to reassure them that NHI does not mean that you will have to give up your private insurance benefits. What it does, instead, is give you an opportunity to re-negotiate your private plans so that you are able to only pay for the services not currently included under NHI,” he said.

“This may not only reduce the cost of your plans, but may allow a greater number of Bahamians access to private health insurance at lower rates.”

Debate on the bill will continue today in the House of Assembly.



Written by Jones Bahamas

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Watch JCN Channel 14 Shows

Jcn Channel 14

Sign in now to see your channels and recommendations!

Join Us on Facebook