NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The government is increasing the allocation to National Health Insurance (or NHI) by $18 million, according to Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance K Peter Turnquest.
Turnquest said the new ‘streamlined’ approach to the initiative could save he government approximately $62 million over the next five years.
He told Parliament that NHI primary care delivery is estimated to cost the Government $83.3 million each year.
“Without significant change to the delivery model, this would escalate to $127.7 million by 2025—an increase of $44.4 million,” he said during the 2020/2021 budget communication.
“The integration and streamlining of these separate health care delivery systems are essential to ensure better quality care of patients. Therefore, the Government is proposing for The National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) to lead a series of reforms, which would effectively and efficiently address these ongoing challenges.”
“This refocused NHI initiative will require no additional taxation or employer mandate,” Turnquest continued.
“Most importantly, it will ensure that every Bahamian and resident has consistent access to a family doctor with minimal copay requirements or deductibles. As the changes crystalize, this new streamlined approach is estimated to save the Government of The Bahamas approximately $62 million over the next five years.
“The enhanced NHI would help us to move to a more efficient and accountable approach, and more importantly, expand primary health care coverage to every Bahamian,” he said.
“Given that allocations to the Public Health Authority represents our largest subvention to SOEs, the Government cannot give effect to reform in the SOE sector without determining how it will make delivery of basic health care more efficient and effective.”