By RASHAD ROLLE
Tribune Staff Reporter
THE National Health Insurance Secretariat announced yesterday that it has invited numerous stakeholder groups to be a part of an advisory council that will oversee the implementation of the health plan.
The move, which was recommended by the government’s NHI consultant KPMG, is designed to foster inclusivity after stakeholders complained about insufficient engagement and consultations.
The new governance structure will be officially launched on June 6.
In a statement to The Tribune yesterday, the United Healthcare Reform Alliance (UHRA), a coalition of medical stakeholder groups formed earlier this year in reaction to the government’s NHI plans, said its members would accept positions on the council.
“All members of the UHRA are firm believers and proponents of universal access to quality healthcare,” Dr Sy Pierre, spokesman and president of the Medical Association of The Bahamas (MAB), said.
“UHRA member organisations that have been invited to serve on the council welcome the opportunity to work with the government and other stakeholders to improve our national strategy for (universal healthcare) and enhance the model implemented to expand our existing UHC system. The UHRA can confirm that our member organisations will accept the appointments and work assiduously to ensure that The Bahamas is the healthiest nation in the region by 2030.”
The scope of the council’s power to influence decision-making is unclear.
However, the council will be responsible for supporting the design and implementation of universal healthcare (UHC) and for reviewing and providing feedback, upon request, on matters brought before it.
The organisations invited to have a place on the council include: the MAB, the Nurses Association of the Bahamas, the Bahamas Health Professions Association, the Bahamas Pharmaceutical Association, the Bahamas Dental Association, the National Commission for Persons with Disabilities, CMO Emeritus, PAHO/WHO country representative, the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers Confederation (BCCEC), the National Congress of Trade Union of The Bahamas, the Trade Union Congress, Bahamas Public Service Union, the Bahamas Insurance Association, the Bahamas Christian Council and civil society Bahamas.