Categorized | National News

Sands: NHI A Medical Apartheid

Opposition Senator and noted physician Dr. Duane Sands has once again lashed out the government over their proposed National Insurance Plan.

During his contribution in the Senate yesterday, Dr. Sands said he wants to give the amendment to the National Health Insurance bill glowing praise, but he just can’t because he feels it doesn’t do enough and said the bill furthers a system he called medical apartheid.

“We have a very mature healthcare system except we have continued a system that I call medical apartheid. It is a regressive, socially unacceptable system that pretends that separate can be equal; it is a system we should have abandoned years ago,” Dr. Sands said.

Dr. Sands also shared similar sentiments issued by Opposition Leader Dr. Hubert Minnis by saying the shift should move from primary health care to catastrophic illnesses.

 “Primary healthcare is indeed the way to tackle the problems of health in The Bahamas, but authorities around the world acknowledge that effective implementation of a Primary Healthcare Strategy will take up to 20 to 40 years before we see a significant incremental reduction in morbidity and mortality.

“But in the meantime our mothers, our fathers, our aunts and our uncles many of whom have catastrophic illnesses now will be dropping dead like flies,” Dr. Sands said.

Dr. Sands during his speech also reiterated several startling statistics that shows the grim reality of life in The Bahamas.

The senator mentioned the fact that the country has the worst profile of chronic non communicable diseases in the region of the Americas, also that it’s among the most obese people in the world, and among the 20 most violent countries in the world.

He further added that the Bahamas is seventh in the world for hypertension and number one in terms of diabetes, compiled with the equally dismal fact that more than 6,000 people with chronic non-communicable diseases have progressed to catastrophic illnesses in the country.

Although Dr. Sands disagrees with the government on variety of issues concerning NHI, in regards to the issue of private health insurance he insisted that those with such coverage should keep it.

“If you can afford health insurance even though it has been made more expensive by VAT, keep your health insurance because you will need it, NHI 2016 is a start but we have a very long way to go,” Dr. Sands said.

Sands was refuted by leader of government business in the senate, Attorney General Allyson Maynard-Gibson who said far too frequently people have had to wait until an illness becomes unmanageable because of a lack of funds.

The Bill, which is expected to be used as a model in South Africa, repeals the national insurance act if passed, it would also lead to the implementation of the national health insurance plan and the establishment of both the national health insurance fund and the national health insurance authority.














Written by Jones Bahamas

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