Minister of Health 2009 Remarks

Excerpts from a Speech in Parliament by The Honorable Minister of Health, Dr Hubert Minnis, during the debate on the Drug Bill on September  30, 2009.

"Today, 60% of our population die from chronic non-communicable diseases (CNCDs), at any given time 48.5% of our medical wards are occupied by CNCDs patients, our emergency rooms are bombarded by patients suffering from CNCDs and their sequelae…..”

“This Drug Plan being introduced today would assist in the promotion of healthy lifestyles, improved health status, decrease the burden of payment for medical conditions and thus increasing readily disposable cash ….This Plan would assist in improving quality of life (decrease blindness, decrease amputations, decrease the need for dialysis, decrease number of strokes, decrease number of heart attacks and improve fertility outcomes).    
It would also result in less sickness, more time spent in the workplace and better work performance. By decreasing disability and premature death, more human capital is available for more social and developmental programs.”

“Contracts will be drawn up with private pharmacies …so that our patients can obtain their medications from other sources than the government pharmacies enabling our citizens more flexibility in where they can fill prescriptions..”

“Once the program has been enacted a registration drive would subsequently commence allowing individuals with any of the disease entities to be registered by their physicians after which the registration forms would be taken to National insurance where a crypted card would be generated . This card will allow you to access the medication at all participating pharmacies. Please note that the medication will be dispensed at no charge to the patients [in Phase 1]”.

“The Plan provides not only medication but an educational component.  All diabetics can be categorized, hypertensives can be categorized an so can all other illnesses enabling us to utilise out tele-notification programs or in some cases email, informing all patients…of information vital to maintaining their healthcare needs.

“The Plan I have presented is quite extensive and is in keeping with the recommendation of all professionals, both locally and internationally. It is a Plan the Bahamians have been yearning for and will be the commencement of our further advancement of additional health plans which would be added utilizing a more scientific approach and in keeping with the needs of the Bahamian population”.

You may download the full text of the Minister's speech by clicking here.