Govt says NHI bill by end of Jan.
Guardian Staff Reporter
Published: Jan 04, 2016
The government intends to make public the proposed legislation for National Health Insurance (NHI) by the end of the month.
In a statement yesterday, the government said that Cabinet approved the draft legislation that would provide the foundation for NHI last week.
“The legislation is undergoing final revisions together with stakeholders and it is expected that it will be released for public and further stakeholder consultation before the end of January,” the statement said.
“The government wishes to announce that the new program NHI Bahamas will make health care throughout our archipelago modern, affordable and accessible.
“These are the values that are at the core of all planning and policy making decisions regarding health care for Bahamians.
“With NHI Bahamas, access to quality health services will be available to all legal Bahamian residents – no matter your age, island of residence, pre-existing health conditions or income.”
The government intends to implement NHI this month, beginning with a registration process.
NHI will be rolled out in several phases.
“In the first phase of coverage (primary care), Bahamians will receive a number of health services such as prevention, visits to the doctor, and other basic health needs free of cost and with no new tax in the initial phase,” the statement said.
“Those with existing health insurance will not be required to give that up.”
The statement added that a NHI website will be unveiled this month allowing Bahamians to “have the information they need to understand what NHI is”.
“We are a proud, strong and caring people,” the statement said.
“The historic launch of National Health Insurance Bahamas is a big step to ensuring that everyone has reasonable access to health care, assuring a bright future for all Bahamians and improving the health of our country.
“The government will be providing regular updates on NHI Bahamas and what persons need to do to register.”