NHI should not be a one-size-fits-all model, says Sands20 Jul 2017

Minister of Health Dr. Duane Sands

The model for National Health Insurance (NHI) should not be a one-size-fits-all model, Minister of Health Dr. Duane Sands said yesterday (at The Bahamas Chamber of Commerce Power Breakfast), adding that the debate on what NHI should become has “missed the mark”.

Sands compared healthcare to the varying classes on an airplane, suggesting that those with the means to afford the feature comforts of the most expensive kinds of health services (first class) should be on a separate tier than those who may have to choose business class or coach.

“This is the model of healthcare we need to deliver – if you can afford feature comforts, if you can afford amenities, there is no reason you should not get it,” he said.

Sands explained the principle of universal health coverage like this: “Ensuring that all people have access to needed promotive, preventative, curative and rehabilitative health services of sufficient quality to be effective, while also ensuring that people do not suffer financial hardship and pain for these services, is the definition of universal health coverage.”

He insisted that a healthy population is essential for sustainable development and said data shows an extra year of life expectancy can lead to growth in gross domestic product (GDP). Sands said given The Bahamas’ unique health profile, in which chronic non-communicable disease is a big factor in the morbidity of Bahamians, a “Bahamian solution” to NHI has to be found that will be the most effective system to service the needs of locals.

Read More here: The Nassau Guardian