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NHI Grand Bahama Consultations

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Nassau, The Bahamas – Monday, February 15, 2016 – Public consultations regarding National Health Insurance Bahamas continued throughout the island of Grand Bahama on Friday, February 12, to educate and engage residents about the modern, affordable and accessible healthcare system.

Ms. Damara Dillett, representing the NHI Bahamas Secretariat, spoke about the need for national health insurance, clarified who is eligible and outlined the benefits of primary care. While consulting with staff members at the Ministry of Grand Bahama, Ms. Dillett confirmed who is eligible to receive NHI Bahamas benefits. She said, “Bahamians resident in country and legal residents – no matter their income, age, island of residence or current health status – can receive health care free of cost at point of service with the NHI Bahamas plan.”

Additionally, consultations continued with staff of the Bahamas Telecommunications Corporation, human resource personnel with the Grand Bahama Port Authority and Directors of the Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce. The conversations provided clarity.

During the consultations, individuals were advised about what to expect when NHI Bahamas is fully implemented. Private insurance holders questioned whether or not NHI Bahamas mandated that they give up their existing coverage. Ms. Dillett advised that persons had the option of keeping their private health insurance and further explained that there was no mandate for individuals to discontinue private healthcare coverage.

Residents attending town hall meetings in Eight Mile Rock and West End, listened attentively about NHI Bahamas. They embraced the opportunity to ask questions and get more details about the registration process. Ms. Dillett explained that the “Registration drive for the National Insurance Board (NIB) Smart Card continues at NIB locations. Individuals ought to ensure that they obtain their NIB Smart Card in order to be prepared for the enrolment.”

All residents are encouraged to attend community meetings across the country to become more informed about NHI Bahamas and the benefits of the programme. Details of these meetings will be made available to you.

The Secretariat continues to meet with stakeholder groups regularly. Any group that wishes to schedule a presentation by the NHI Bahamas team may contact the Secretariat directly at 502-7601 or email info@nhibahamas.gov.bs.

More information on NHI Bahamas can also be found at www.nhibahamas.gov.bs.

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Caribbean News

Government Considers Vaccine Requirement for New Admissions to Infirmaries

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#Jamaica, December 7, 2021 – Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Hon. Desmond McKenzie, says the Government is considering a vaccine requirement for new entrants to the island’s infirmaries, once admissions resume.

“What we are looking to do is that once we start to readmit persons to the infirmaries, one of the conditions that will be laid out is that new cases coming into the infirmaries must be fully vaccinated before they are admitted,” he said in an interview with JIS News.

“We have to do that to safeguard the population in our infirmaries,” he pointed out.

He said that the Ministry is also looking at allowing visits to facilities by fully vaccinated family members during the Christmas season.

“Last year, we partnered with Digicel and we used technology as a means of allowing loved ones to communicate with their relatives inside of the infirmaries. This year, we are looking to see if we can do it on a limited, face-to-face basis, once we have agreed… where people, who would want to visit their relatives in the infirmaries… must be fully vaccinated,” he said.

“I also want to stress that they must come with a negative COVID test that is [taken within] 72 hours, and we will limit visits based on appointments,” he pointed out.

“So, you would make your appointments, you would come at the time given and we will be creating areas such as the therapeutic park [being built at the Trelawny Infirmary], as a means of allowing loved ones [to visit] during the festive season once we have worked out the protocols. That is the approach we will be taking,” the Minister outlined.

Mr. McKenzie said the Government will always be sympathetic to the plight of the poor, noting that those with loved ones inside the infirmaries can be assured that they are being cared for by a committed and dedicated team of professionals.

He said that while 70 per cent of the island’s infirmary staff has already been vaccinated, every effort is being made to get the remaining 30 per cent on board, noting that taking the vaccine has proven to be the most effective way to keep the COVID-19 pandemic under control.

 

Contact: Garwin Davis

Release: JIS

 

 

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Caribbean News

Minister Bartlett Elected Chair of Inter-American Committee on Tourism

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#UnitedStatesofAmerica, December 7, 2021 –  Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, has been elected by acclamation as the new Chairman of the Organization of American States (OAS) Inter-American Committee on Tourism (CITUR).

Minister Bartlett came out ahead of the candidates from Paraguay and Ecuador for the chairmanship at a meeting on Tuesday (November 30).  Both countries will now serve as Vice Chair of the CITUR.

Chair of the OAS’ Inter-American Council for Integral Development, Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States (US), Audrey Marks, congratulated Minister Bartlett on behalf of the member states.

“I wish you… much success in the work that you will be leading as we begin deliberations to prepare the draft work plan based on the Declaration of Paraguay towards the reconstruction and rebuilding of tourism post coronavirus (COVID-19),” she said.

Minister Bartlett, in his response, called on all member states to work together to complete the plans and policy programmes that they had started.   This, he said, “would require a greater sense of innovation, as we cannot continue with things as they are”.

“We must now seek to find new ways to deal with new disruptions that seem destined to follow this pandemic,” he added.

Minister Bartlett thanked member states for the confidence placed in him by way of his election to the chair of the committee.  He pledged to be a strong, fruitful, and vibrant chairman and called for the support of each member state.

“We have so much to do, and I know the Americas are depending on us to chart the way to recovery and to thrive after recovery,” he said.

 

Contact: Derrick Scott

Release: JIS

 

 

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Facts laid out in Beach Vending Bill Debate by Tourism Minister Connolly

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

 #TurksandCaicos, December 7, 2021 – Tourism Minister Josephine Connolly says the policy that birthed the controversial Beach and Coastal Vending bill was conceived under the PDM administration.

Connolly was speaking in the House of Assembly on November 30 when she made the claims.  She said the policy had been around since 2020 and had been in circulation among tourism stakeholders and publicly via the DECR up to June this year.

“The bill was circulated in 2020 up to three times. In June of this year the policy was again circulated. And the DECR held meetings to discuss the policy and some of the changes.”

Connolly claimed that the policy which had been drafted by the previous administration and had then been intentionally ignored by them.

“…Mr Speaker, I met on my desk a draft policy on beach vending prepared by the previous government. It had sat there gathering dust, not because it was not needed but because the previous government did not want to deal with it,” the Minister said after laying the Bill for its second reading.

Connolly insisted however that she was up to the task of seeing the bill through.

“They let it slide; leave it for the next guy, but I am the next guy and I am not shy.”

She went on to reference a specific issue affecting vendors. She said currently, vendors only needed a business license to operate on the beach. This resulted in vendors tying up several booths and denying other vendors a chance.

She claimed the bill would fix this as each vendor would only be allowed one license to operate on the beach, thus increasing fairness.

 

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