Nassau, The Bahamas – May 4, 2017 — Today, phase three of NHI Bahamas – Primary Health Care Coverage – officially started and was marked by the first patient visiting their doctor and receiving care at no cost at point of service. The launch of Primary Care services is a significant achievement for The Bahamas and will make health care more accessible to the more than 200,000 Bahamians who do not have private health insurance.
“It is a proud day for our country as we move forward in our journey towards making Universal Health Coverage in The Bahamas a reality. For the first time in our country’s history, Bahamians can visit their doctor and receive care without having to pay for it themselves,” said Peter Deveaux-Isaacs, Permanent Secretary for National Health Insurance.
The Bahamas has been on a path towards Universal Health Coverage (UHC) for nearly 40 years, since the signing of the Declaration of Alma-Ata at the International Conference on Primary Health Care in 1978. The signing of the Declaration was a turning point in our country’s history as it proclaimed The Bahamas’ commitment to protect and promote the healthof all Bahamians. Today, this commitment continues to be carried forward with the launch of the NHI Bahamas Primary Care phase of coverage.
After launching the enrolment phase of NHI Bahamas just last week, over 9,400 persons have enroled and selected their preferred doctor. Physicians who have registered to provide Primary Care services under NHI Bahamas have received payment and are now ready to see patients they are being matched with.
“It is quite an honour to see the first patient under NHI Bahamas, a programme that will help improve accessibility to primary health care services for the many Bahamians who are in need of assistance,” said Dr. Brian Tynes, a general practitioner at Complete Family Practice in Nassau. “I encourage more Bahamians to enrol and take advantage of the services and benefits offered under NHI Bahamas.”
“Keeping up with health care costs is tough, so when I heard about NHI Bahamas I decided to enrol right away. Now I can see my doctor whenever I need to and not worry about how much I will have to pay for each visit,” said Betty May North, the first patient to receive care from Dr. Tynes under NHI Bahamas.
The Primary Care phase of coverage will cover services including, but not limited to:
- Doctor visits, such as annual physical exams and counseling
- Screening for various medical conditions, including cancer, heart disease, diabetes and sexually transmitted infections (including HIV), mammograms to screen for breast cancer, prostate testing for men and EKG testing to assess heart function
- Lab tests
- Diagnostic imaging
- Ultrasounds and x-rays
- Blood tests to check your cholesterol and blood sugar
- Various medications, including those that help prevent and treat issues like hypertension, diabetes, asthma, arthritis, mental illness and allergies
The full Primary Care benefits package can be found online at http://www.nhibahamas.gov.bs/whats-covered/.
The NHI Secretariat would also like to remind Bahamians that enrolment for NHI Bahamas is ongoing. Persons are encouraged to enrol online at www.nhibahamas.gov.bs/enrol or in-person at the following enrolment locations in New Providence:
- Cotton Tree Plaza at Bernard Road, Fox Hill – 9am-7pm (Monday-Friday), 9am-5pm (Saturday)
- Enoch Beckford Memorial Auditorium on Carmichael Road – 9am-7pm (Monday-Friday), 9am-5pm (Saturday)
- New Providence Community Centre on Blake Road – until May 5th – 9am-7pm (Monday-Friday)
Persons in the Family Islands can enrol online or in-person at their local NIB office.
Additional information on NHI Bahamas can be found at www.nhibahamas.gov.bs.
Contact the NHI Secretariat: