Letter To The Business Editor - Kpmg: We ‘Stand Firmly’ Behind Nhi Impact Study

Dear Sirs,

We write further to a number of articles published last week in The Tribune related to our economic impact assessment of universal healthcare in the Bahamas.

This is the first time that any such report on the economic impacts of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in the Bahamas has been written. We stand firmly behind the report’s conclusions and we welcome constructive discussion with interested parties.

Our report is entirely consistent with, and complementary to, the work of renowned organisations such as the World Bank, the World Health Organisation, the World Innovation Summit for Health and the seminal medical journal, The Lancet, all of which unanimously suggest the introduction of UHC and the resulting better health of populations has multiple beneficial impacts and a “powerful, positive effect on wealth” (per WISH’s 2016 report – Investing in Health, the Economic Case).

In our research, and based on the various studies by these organisations, we have seen the estimated economic impacts of better health on GDP ranging from 2 per cent to 12 per cent. Our report conservatively suggests that GDP growth in the Bahamas due to better population health will be 4.8 per cent by 2040, thus suggesting that better health will lead to better national wealth.

We note that some commentators feel we have ignored the current economic situation, but this fails to appreciate that any economic impact study is, of necessity, long-term. Sustainable health gain across populations takes many years (especially in the Bahamas which has, for example, very high levels of diabetes) and longitudinal analysis is therefore required. Indeed, better population health is a fundamental pillar of any economy’s development, and NHI in the Bahamas will, like it has in many other countries, act as a catalyst for change and improved health outcomes for the population as a whole.

Finally, our report was published independently of Government by KPMG and Cambridge Economics, a group of highly ethical and respected economists. KPMG itself operates with 187,000 people in 157 countries. We take pride in our professional independence and have been established in the Bahamas for over 50 years, with close to 100 dedicated staff. As such we were able to bring global and deep local expertise and knowledge, along with the input of professional and recognised international economists, to our report.

We also list below for your perusal a number of links to reports specifically dealing with the economic impacts of better health, all of which come to similar conclusions.

Yours faithfully,

Simon Townend

Partner and Head of Advisory for KPMG in the Bahamas and the KPMG Islands Group


Mark Britnell

Global Chairman for Health for KPMG

Please see below links to specific reports on this subject matter

2011 WHO report – ‘From Burden to ‘Best Buys’ – Reducing the Economic Impact of NCDs in low and middle income countries’, highlighting primary care as a ‘good buy’.

Additionally, it highlights that low to middle income countries lose $500 billion annually as a result of non-communicable diseases (4 per cent of their collective GDP) http://www.who.int/nmh/publications/best_buys_summary.pdf

2016 World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH) – ‘Investing in Health – The Economic Case’ for the investment in health and its positive economic impacts


2012 Canadian Health Services Research Foundation – ‘The economic impact of improvements in Primary healthcare performance’ on the economic improvements from investing in primary care.


Finally, the Lancet commission has a number of studies highlighting the investments in health and their benefits. Below are two links to them.




banker 3 years, 11 months ago

Blah blah blah. The noted investor and writer Nassim Nicholas Taleb is campaigning to remove Economics as a discipline worthy of the Nobel Prize. Economics itself is a dodgy piece of voodoo pseudo-science that is 100% accurate in hindsight and useless at making forward-looking predictions. The reason is, as Taleb believes, that economic activity is more chaotic and has more inputs than economists can fathom, and therefore cannot accurately predict anything. As a major example, the Black-Scholes formula won its creators the Nobel Prize in Economics and was major tool in the fake security valuation in the 2007-8 economic collapse. Economics prediction compared to real life, is like comparing the voodoo chiropractic method to real medicine. It is unproven dogma rather than observable fact. Everyone knows that there are lies, damn lies and then we have statistics.

I for one, do not believe that KPMG can produce an independent report when hired by a government intent on creating something. The very premise of their producing a report is to buttress an already stated position. This is part of the conflict of interest in these consultants who claim to be independent, but in fact are brought in as gunslingers for those who couldn't hit the broad side of a barn door with a bazooka.

I do not, for one minute, doubt that there is a causal link between economic well-being and health. But that is not the issue. The issue is whether the NHI plan as proposed, is economically sound, well thought out and viable from a fiduciary prudence point of view. And it is not, despite any amount of lipstick that KPMG wants to put on this pig.


ohdrap4 3 years, 11 months ago

We stand firmly behind the report’s conclusions

When the tsunami threatened to hit fukushima, a fellow newsgroup subscriber worked in a nuclear power plant in Europe, so we rushed to ask him: What now? No, problem. he said, the seawater is going to cool down the reactor. We went to sleep assured, the fella had gone college and studied what the researchers said was going to happen, and stood firmly by the science.

Fukushima, as they say is history.


ohdrap4 3 years, 11 months ago

Another point, which these consultants seem completely oblivious to, is that the price of health care is driven mostly by price gouging hospitals and drug companies.

Capitation is for doctors, not for hospitals and drug companies.

The only factor they claim can make healthcare available to all regardless of preexisting conditions, is to increase the pool of insureds (in other words, let someoneelse pay for it). That is what caused obamacare to be mandatory including the tax penalty-- so people pay even if they do not use. The costs continued to rise, so a healthy 30 year old pays 3,600 a year in premiums plus a 5,400 deductible, so you have to pay 9,000 or more to play. It is a similar premise that they have with national insurance, which paid all sorts of money to people who never contributed banking that there would always be a pool of young workers to foot the bill. But the system is going broke.

yep, pig, lipstick, et. al.


Well_mudda_take_sic 3 years, 11 months ago

The mere fact that Simon Townend had to pen his name to a letter like this says all we need to know about him and KPMG locally. Mark Britnell should be sent packing without another dollar put into his pocket by the taxpayers of this country. It's now crystal clear that Townend is nothing but a lap dog for Britnell and as such he is all too willing to simply do as he is told to make a buck!


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