Bill to regulate funeral industry among seven new health bills

Bill to regulate funeral industry among seven new health bills
Duane Sands, MOH

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – The government will seek to bring forth seven pieces legislation to strengthen the health care sector, said Minister of Health Dr. Duane Sands yesterday.

During his contribution to the 2019/2020 midyear budget debate, Sands noted that those bills include a revision to the Medical Act, the National Health Insurance Authority Act, Public Hospitals Authority Act, a new Dental Act, a new Nurses and Midwives Act, the Patient Rights Bill 2019, and the Health Professions Act.

“One of the things that we do is to develop and administer health legislation, to ensure the accountability of providers – both professionals and facilities – for the delivery of services as well as public health protection,” Sands said.

“Our legislative agenda is aggressive with a total of seven pieces of legislation in various stages of review and finalization for enactment.”

He noted that the Health Professions Act will seek to bring order to the unregulated funeral industry.

There have been previous calls for the government to implement legislation to govern the sector, pointing to lack of oversight in operations and a lack of inspections by the Department of Environmental Health Services.

In a 2011 auditor general report, Terrance Bastian revealed that the industry did not have standardized procedures, practices and legislation in place.