BIA vice chair calls for universal healthcare ‘reset’

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The universal healthcare (UHC) process in The Bahamas needs a “reset”, the Deputy Chairperson of the Bahamas Insurance Association (BIA) for Life and Health Tina Cambridge said yesterday.

The Bahamas Insurance Association (BIA) found earlier this year that the actions of the NHI Secretariat had been in contravention of the very laws that brought NHI into force.

Cambridge suggested that both the BIA and Bahamas Insurance Brokers Association (BIBA) would agree that the NHI process would have to almost begin all over again in order to minimize the “risk of destabilization of both the public and private sectors of the healthcare system, which would further risk the success of UHC implementation for The Bahamas”.

Cambridge added that the reset process would ensure an effective governance structure, strengthen the healthcare infrastructure, leverage private sector expertise to ensure robust governmental regulation, help manage expectations on benefits and timing and create avenues to control the cost of healthcare in general.

When the former government rolled out an incomplete NHI in May, it left 25,000 people enrolled in a baseless, functionless plan. And the enrollment portal was still open as of August.

Cambridge said the BIA continues to support UHC implementation, but is hoping to engage in “a new day of consultation” with the “inclusion of all strategic partners”.

“Though it appears slow going, save the general pronouncement by Minister of Health Dr. Duane Sands, we also continue to look forward to improved transparency regarding details on the state of the healthcare infrastructure and NHI itself,” said Cambridge.

“The BIA offered and the minister promised to leverage the expertise of the industry to advance the implementation.”

She beseeched the new NHI board to reveal its new structure and suggested that it, in light of its inherited position, not “condone perpetration of the status quo”.

“It has been very quiet ­– perhaps too quiet for such an important undertaking,” Cambridge said.

“We have not yet seen meaningful engagement of strategic partners to put this aright, but I do know that the board has a mammoth task to get the house in order. We remain willing and able to assist. We await engagement, transparency and disclosure.”

The post BIA vice chair calls for universal healthcare ‘reset’ appeared first on The Nassau Guardian.

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