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BAHAMAS: Ministry of Health Striving to Implement a Cost Effective Health Information Management System

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#Nassau, November 12, 2019 – Bahamas – Minister of Health the Hon. Dr. Duane Sands said the health system in The Bahamas has been paper-based for decades, but in this 21st century, the country needs to be further along. 

“The vision of the Ministry of Health is to implement a cost effective Health Information Management System, inclusive of an Electronic Medical Records system to ensure timely access to and coding of information, rivaling that in place in our private sector and in leading jurisdictions,” Dr. Sands explained during the First Annual Medical Coding Symposium held at the British Colonial Hilton, Friday, November 8, 2019.

He said the Ministry of Health is engaged with the Pan American Health Organization to strengthen data management in primary care clinics. 

“This project aims to transition hospital and national health records into electronic formats.  Outputs expected are improved administrative efficiency, integration of data across diverse recording platforms and better portability of records.” 

Dr. Sands added that to achieve the Ministry’s goals, the healthcare system requires a new cadre of health care workers who would need to be equipped with the competencies and skill sets to strengthen the management of health data and monitor and evaluate health care being provided, i.e. coders are needed.

He stated that like the complexities of the health care system, health care data collection from the various Government, Non-Government and Private Sector entities is not static.  Therefore, continuous restructuring, integration, innovation and realignment to achieve goals and objectives is required.

He noted that Medical Coders are professionals with a specialty of Medical Coding and are a part of the wider field of health care administrators.  “You are trained and certified to translate medical information generated by Physicians, Nurses, Therapists, Technicians and other health care providers.”

The Health Minister said, “Your knowledge and skills is essential to Statisticians, Researchers, Public Health Officials as well as Internal Auditors.  You are aware of the many ramifications that poor or inaccurate coding can cause to fiscal health, a health institute or public policy as a whole.” 

He told the medical coders that it is therefore essential that they use the symposium to promote and highlight the benefits that their profession can bring to the health, wellbeing and the quality of care provided in The Bahamas. 

The Health Minister explained that codes create the ability to review and use data with greater specificity regarding clinical conditions and services.  

He added that codes also provide payers, policy makers and providers, with better information to design and implement a pay-for-performance programme and decrease opportunities for fraud, under performance and better use for resources including investment.

By Llonella Gilbert

Release: BIS

Photo Caption: Minister of Health the Hon. Dr. Duane Sands brought remarks at the First Annual Medical Coding Symposium held at the British Colonial Hilton, Friday, November 8, 2019.   

(BIS Photos/Patrick Hanna)

Bahamas News

Brave presentation in defence of Bahamas’ financial services reputation by PM Davis

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By Sherrica Thompson

Staff Writer

 

#TheBahamas, October 1, 2022 – Prime Minister of the Bahamas Phillip ‘Brave’ Davis is again calling for equality in the financial services sector and for the United Nations to leverage its universal jurisdiction for greater oversight of global anti-money laundering de-risking and tax cooperation matters.

In addressing the United Nations General Assembly on Saturday, September 24, Prime Minister Davis said the Bahamas is one of the best-regulated countries in the world, yet it has been under attack by international bodies and placed on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) blacklist while transgressions in the developed world are ignored.

He questioned why this was the case and highlighted some disparities in the financial sector.

“Why is it that European states that operate frameworks akin to that of high-risk or blacklisted countries, are not even eligible for inclusion on these lists? Why are all the countries targeted – all of them – small and vulnerable, and former colonies of European states? We find it astounding that the $2-$3 trillion dollars which is estimated to be laundered each year through the developed countries, are never flagged as causes for concern,” articulated Phillip Davis, addressing the 77th session in New York.

Prime Minister Davis further noted that there are elements of racism in the decision-making when it comes to regulating black-governed countries in the financial services sector. He also declared that black-governed countries matter as well.

And yet my country, which is widely recognized as one of the best-regulated countries in the world, and other countries like The Bahamas, are singled-out for such reputational attacks? The robust regulatory regimes of our Central Bank, Securities Commission, and Insurance Commission, are chastised on minor details of technical process, while much bigger transgressions in the developed world are ignored.

The evidence is mounting, that the considerations behind these decisions have less to do with compliance, and more to do with darker issues of pre-judged, discriminatory perceptions. Black-governed countries also matter.”

 Davis also highlighted the need for reforms that apply to all in the global financial system.

“Mr. President: We support the call for reforms in the global financial system to make it more relevant to the needs of today. But those reforms need ambition. They need to go beyond the incremental. And they need to apply to all. For example, the community of international financial institutions are in a position to forgive the debt incurred by the economic shutdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic. They should do so.”

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Statement to Update on the Sale of the Grand Lucayan

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“Deal progressing toward closure”

 

#GrandBahama, The Bahamas, October 1, 2022 – The Board of Lucayan Renewal Holdings Limited (LRHL) advises that negotiations toward a successful deal on the Grand Lucayan Resort continue to progress satisfactorily. It was announced in the first week of August in a joint statement with Electra America Hospitality Group that the due diligence period was extended by 45 days to September 15.

By virtue of this, the final closing date was also extended to November 15, 2022. We note that the recent seven-day extension did not impact the agreed November closing date. We anticipate that the sales process will be completed consistent with our revised timelines. The Board of LRHL remains committed to ensuring that a credible plan and shared vision for the resort is realized – a plan that will provide jobs, entrepreneurial opportunities and strengthen Grand Bahama’s economy.

We remain on track for a successful purchase and signing of a Heads of Agreement, in the best interest of the people of Grand Bahama.

There are matters connected to the transaction that are still being negotiated; we look forward to briefing the public as soon as negotiations are concluded.

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MASK AND COVID TESTING MANDATES END FOR THE BAHAMAS

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By Shanieka Smith

Staff Writer

 

#TheBahamas, October 1, 2022 – The Bahamas is looking ahead to another roll back on restrictions as the precautions set up in response to the coronavirus pandemic fade away.  October 1 ends the mandate for face masks in The Bahamas; it’s another policy being recalled as the world embraces a new normal, where face coverings are optional.

In a snap measure, the minister of health for the Bahamas, Michael Darville also this month ended the COVID 19 testing entry requirement for the unvaccinated.  It makes The Bahamas, as a leading tourism destination, more affordable and more accessible as evidence supports that it does not also mean a spike in Covid cases.

Prime Minister Phillip Davis announced that the mask mandate change from New York, following his appearance at the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II and while attending the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly.  However, it is not masks off for everyone:  medical facilities, aged care centers and schools will keep the rule.

The decision was met with applause by President of the Bahamas Hotel Catering and Allied Workers Union, Darrin Woods who said this move will undoubtedly improve tourism numbers and contribute to the nation’s economic recovery.

Additionally, President of The Bahamas Hotel and Tourism Association, Robert Sands, said the time for mask mandate and Covid-19 testing for unvaccinated travellers had long passed. He believes that removing this protocol will level the playing field since other rivals in the tourism industry have already done so.

Already, long stay guests to The Bahamas were exempt from mask wearing on hotel properties.

At this point, some 173,000 Bahamas residents have been fully vaccinated and in the September 26 health report; three patients were in intensive care from the virus of the 132 active and only one new case had been recorded in Nassau.

 

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