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NHIP averaging $10 million over budget annually; latest Actuarial Review tabled in Parliament



#GrandTurk, Turks and Caicos Islands – September 25, 2019 — In a matter of just four years, the National Health Insurance Plan is expected to bust its own budget to the tune of $43.1 million dollars according to Premier and Finance Minister, Sharlene Robinson.

The National Health Insurance Board this month made a final presentation to Cabinet on its latest Actuarial Review and during House of Assembly meeting on Monday, Premier Robinson laid the review including its recommendations on the table.

“Coming out of this actuarial review are various recommendations for the national health insurance program to implement in order to address the estimated accumulated deficit of $43.1 million over financial year 2018 to 2022.”


The National Health Insurance Plan has grown over 40 percent since it started in 2010; from under 24,000 to now over 35,000 beneficiaries which accounts for 84 percent of the taxable population according to the Finance Minister. The need for medical care paid for by the social health care plan has also grown significantly.

“To this end Mr. Speaker, an actuarial review of the period April 1, 2014 to March 31, 2017 was conducted.  I will provide a status update of the responses to the recommendations from the review.  As mentioned already Mr. Speaker, a new actuarial review for the period post April 1. 2017 to March 31, 2019 has been commissioned and of course this will advise the minister and the board on the sustainable health care financing strategies to be pursued in the short, medium and long term.”

The NHIP actuarial of 2018 is a forensic review; aiming to expose whether or not the plan is adequately supported by the salary-deducted and employer-matched contributions; in other words, it gauges whether the plan is financially able to do what it promises it will do.


The revelation on Monday by the Premier confirms that the National Health Insurance Plan is falling short by an average $10 million, plus each year but she said the next Actuarial Review is when the Minister and the Board will determine the way forward.

“The evaluation is to take into account, health are financing strategies under consideration by the Board as well as any need to increase the stipulated reserve as outlined in Section 28 of the NHI ordinance,” the Premier explained that the new review will likely commence in the third quarter of 2019 and added, “The 2019-2020 budget catered for sums to address these recommendations such as the development of a funding policy and a risk management policy which are detailed among the recommendations listed below.”


Among the recommendations are enhanced staff efficiency measures, a human resources study, creation of a three-year strategic plan, renegotiated fees for more competitive treatment abroad services prices and a Claims Verification Officer has been hired.  

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Bahamas News

Polio is back; 65 million missed shots in another COVID fall out



By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer


#USA, August 4, 2022 – For the first time in almost a decade a new case of polio was recorded in the United States. The case which ended in paralysis emphasizes the danger the region faces as vaccination levels drop to 30-year lows.

The World Health Organization warned in early July explained that vaccination in the region of the Americas and the rest of world was dropping rapidly because of various spin off effects precipitated by the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Over 65 million infants missed out on basic vaccines in the last three years thanks to disruptions in routine healthcare, lockdowns and other circumstances. The effects are already being felt as once eradicated disease like measles and polio are once again emerging.

The Pan American Health Organization announced earlier this year the Americas are now facing another measles outbreak after having been declared free of the disease in 2016.

Dr. Jarvis Barbosa, Assistant director of PAHO said vaccination levels are now as low as they were in 1994 for measles and polio and Brazil has had several outbreaks of measles.

In the case of the United States an unvaccinated young adult developed the disease after contact with another individual vaccinated with a live version of the vaccine.

The breakout polio case in the US sent shockwaves across the country because of the severe nature of the disease. Polio is an extremely dangerous disease with no known cure. It causes paralysis in as many as 1 in 200 infected and that paralysis is permanent.

Normally very few school age children would be at risk in the Americas as the vaccine is required to start school but with the gap in vaccinations many more children are now at risk.

Polio was one of the most feared diseases of the 20th century, paralyzing and killing hundreds of thousands, especially children. Thankfully vaccinated individuals are not at risk and as such the WHO is advising that the best way to protect against polio is vaccination.


Photo Caption:  Child in Benin takes Polio vaccine, UNSDG

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New Rules for Turks & Caicos JPs



By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer


#TurksandCaicos, August 5, 2022 – Rules governing Justices of the Peace in the Turks and Caicos are now significantly stricter after the passing of the amendment to the Magistrates Amendment Bill in July 2022.

Despite the fact that Justices of the Peace are allowed the same powers as a magistrate previously the only requirement for their appointment was the discretion of the Governor and that they be under 65-years-old.

That power has now been transferred from the Governor to the Chief Justice.

Justices of the peace have always by law been allowed to receive complaints, sign charges and issue warrants for the apprehension of persons charged with criminal offenses. They can also issue search warrants summons and administer oaths.

Considering the potentially unchecked execution of these powers, the attorney general’s chambers lobbied for a change in the system.

“These are very wide powers and there is no framework for the supervision and regulation of the whole of justices of the peace in the Turks and Caicos Islands.”

The amendment rectified this and the Chief Justice now has the power to make binding rules and regulations governing the appointment of JPs, a code of conduct disciplinary action and orientation and periodic training for JPs.

In addition, to maintain separation of powers the governor will be stripped of the power to disallow laws made by resident magistrates. That power now belongs to the Chief Justice.

Rhondalee Braithwaite-Knowles, TCI Attorney General maintained that the amendment was short but necessary.

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Young People in TCI are having sex, Rapport wants to ensure they’re doing it safe



By Deandrea Hamilton & Dana Malcolm

Editorial Staff


#TurksandCaicos, August 5, 2022 – Young people in the Turks and Caicos are very sexually active and while there are no concrete statistics, the newest members of the Rapport all said “Yes” to the question about whether there is rampant sexual activity.

“As a young person I totally agree that they are having a lot of sex,” Arean Louis said.

This is particularly concerning given wider statistics point to a very young age group which is still contracting HIV/Aids.

“Caribbean statistics are showing that between the ages of 15 and 25 those have the highest amount of HIV rates.”

A five person delegation was this past  week representing the Turks and Caicos Islands at the International Aids Conference, staged in Montreal, Canada July 29 – August 2, 2022.

Young adult members of Rapport TCI all agree that youth in the TCI must be made aware of HIV and other STIs. Arean Louis, Denae Dennie and Arielle Neely spoke to Magnetic Media on their way to the International AIDS Conference.

All three agreed that our young people are having a lot of sex.

“I would say that our young people are having sec the only thing that I would say is I hope that they are letting their partners know their sexual history, their status, and that they’re being safe.” Dennie said.

Louis added, “As we talk about HIV and AIDS in the Turks and Caicos Islands we most definitely need to bring awareness to our young people because there is no set age— kids nowadays just like to experiment.”

He stressed safe sex, using protection and abstinence to maintain sexual health.

“What we aim to do is keep them safe here, we’re tired and we don’t want to see anymore STD and STI new cases in the Turks and Caicos.”

Dennie says she still thinks there is fear surrounding HIV but with education and protection, the world can get to zero new cases and it was something she was looking forward to.

The final member Arielle Neely explained that there were not enough tools and resources to educate youth.

“There are not enough tools or enough record to educate them. Our parents think they’re doing a good job by telling us don’t have sex but telling us don’t have sex isn’t enough. You have to teach us about birth control planned parenthood.”

The three members had high hopes for Rapport and stressed that they need more members to make an effective change on sexual health in the TCI.

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