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BIA questions how NHI is being administered

Exploring whether actions taken to implement National Health Insurance were in contravention of NHI Act, Insurance Act
Senior Business Reporter

Published: Jul 17, 2017

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The Bahamas Insurance Association (BIA) is exploring whether actions taken to implement National Health Insurance (NHI) might have been in contravention of the law vis-à-vis the NHI Act and the Insurance Act.

The BIA released a statement on the weekend making several claims about the current processes of NHI and whether they are being administered within the parameters of both acts.

The BIA suggests in its statement that the former government, in its haste to roll out NHI, may have contravened some of its own directives. One of those things involved the NHI Authority’s board.

"Even if the NHI Authority’s board had been properly established and a managing director appointed, the management and administration of benefits under the NHI plan by an entity not duly licensed by the Insurance Commission of The Bahamas and in accordance with part four of the NHI Act would be unlawful and possibly a violation of both the NHI Act and the Insurance Act," notes the BIA’s statement.

The statement affirmed the group's position on NHI, which aligns with the outlook of the country's minister of health, Dr. Duane Sands.

"The BIA concurs that the nation now has an opportunity to make right the structure of the universal healthcare program to ensure best outcomes for our nation, and welcomes the opportunity to meaningfully engage in the process for the good of all," the group's release said.

"The BIA therefore feels it necessary to question in the first instance, the legality of actions taken in the haste to implement National Health Insurance (NHI) prior to the 2017 general elections."

The BIA statement said 25,000 people have been enrolled in NHI after government spent millions on "extensive and costly advertisement, including endorsements by physicians who had 'signed up' to provide services under the NHI plan".

"Services are being rendered and physicians being paid," the BIA said. "It should be of much concern to all Bahamians that actions to enroll persons, enter into contracts with medical providers and compensate them for their services, may have been done in contravention of the law."



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