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News : Bahamas Information Services Updates Last Updated: Feb 26, 2019 - 2:00:13 PM

87% of Bahamians support expansion of NHI to include high cost medical care, according to new poll
By National Health Insurance (NHI)
Feb 25, 2019 - 2:17:33 PM

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Nassau, The Bahamas – A public opinion poll conducted by Public Domain has revealed that 87% of respondents support the expansion of NHI Bahamas to provide affordable coverage for high cost medical care, such as treatment for prevalent adult cancers and paediatric cancers, heart attack and dialysis with no co-pays or deductibles. In addition, more than half (57%) of respondents said a combination of government, employees and employers should pay for universal healthcare. This was higher among NHI beneficiaries, of which 65% of respondents said a combination of government, employees and employers should pay.

With regards to the National Health Insurance Authority’s policy proposal, over three-quarters (78%) of respondents support the proposal for NHI, which will ensure all Bahamians get access to a standard package of health benefits, including primary care, coverage for major cancers, dialysis and heart attacks.

The poll, which was conducted by Public Domain between February 6th-18th, was completed by 1,043 residents throughout The Bahamas.

Other notable results include the following:

  •  96% of respondents supported the principle that all Bahamians should have access to affordable care, regardless of their personal health circumstances
  •  In total, 91% of respondents completely agreed (83%) or somewhat agreed (8%) with the statement: “Current private health insurance plans are too expensive for average Bahamians”
  • In total, 91% of respondents completely agreed (86%) or somewhat agreed (5%) with the statement: “The cost of health or medical services without insurance is too expensive for average Bahamians”
  • Over half (55%) of respondents decided not to access healthcare services in the past when they were ill due to cost
  • This was higher among NHI beneficiaries who predominantly do not have private health insurance, of which 68% of respondents chose not to access healthcare services in the past due to cost

“Over the past few months, the NHIA has met with hundreds of Bahamians who have expressed their support for the new direction of NHI Bahamas. Time and time again we’ve heard stories of Bahamians who have avoided getting treatment for illness due to high costs which has led to devastating outcomes. Now we have an opportunity to improve access to affordable, quality healthcare services for all Bahamians. The overwhelming support gathered through this latest poll further demonstrates the need for NHI and shows us that we are on the right path towards achieving universal healthcare in The Bahamas,” said Dr. Robin Roberts, Chairman of the NHIA Board.

There are nearly 50,000 beneficiaries currently enrolled in NHI Bahamas.

The public consultation paper for NHI Bahamas, which takes into account the feedback received during the consultation period, outlines policy changes that have been incorporated into the final policy proposal which is being submitted to Cabinet for consideration. 

For more information on NHI Bahamas, please visit www.nhibahamas.gov.bs.

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