March 2, 2015 (Nassau, The Bahamas) – The Government of The Bahamas is committed to ensuring that all Bahamians have access to affordable, efficient and quality healthcare. As such, the government has launched the implementation strategy to ensure that all Bahamians have access to a Universal Health Insurance system.
“The mission of The Bahamas Government is to provide quality healthcare that is affordable and accessible to all its citizens” stated Minister of Health Dr. Perry Gomez. Details of the Universal Health Insurance plan will be announced by the Government after ongoing stakeholder consultations with all key parties have been concluded.
The Government of The Bahamas is building off the recommendations to tailor a plan that meets the unique needs of The Bahamas. Part of this is to ensure that the plan is sustainable and the Government is looking at various funding and costing options for the plan. “We are taking the time to consult with Bahamians, local organizations, health care professionals and consultants to develop a plan that is sustainable for the long term” stated Dr. Glen Beneby, Chief Medical Officer.
Beginning from January 2016, with Universal Health Insurance, every legal Bahamian resident – regardless of their means – will have access to health care from private and public doctors, clinics and hospitals.
Currently, per capita healthcare spending in The Bahamas is over $2,300 per year, almost double other countries in the Region. Despite this high spending, life expectancy is lower than many including Barbados, Belize and Grenada.
Universal Health Insurance will focus on improving health outcomes while also producing annual savings which will reach $160 million in ten years. The majority of the financing will come from existing resources in the health system. Further costing and financial details will be available in the near future.
“The health and well-being of Bahamians remains a priority of this Government,” stated Minister Gomez “we are taking the time to ensure that the plan we present is the best possible option for all Bahamians” he continued.
The Government has committed and is committed to developing a new Universal Health Insurance plan that will be affordable, accessible and reliable for all Bahamians.