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Health – Bahamas, Caribbean
Rates of non-communicable diseases have risen to the point where treatment costs challenge the viability of the healthcare system.
Health standards have greatly improved throughout the Bahamas in recent years. New hospitals and healthcare facilities have opened in Nassau and Grand Bahama. These healthcare facilities have also lowered the price of care for their residents.
In comparison to the United States, the cost of a procedure in this country is about 30-40% less. Still, there are high levels of health and economic inequality and most of the population are unable to obtain private health insurance. Catastrophic spending on health care has bankrupted many patients and their families.
Vaccination against diseases such as measles and diphtheria has lowered the infection and death rate among children. The infection rate of HIV/AIDS is quite high — in 2013, an estimated 500 people died from AIDS in this nation.
The National Health Insurance program was established in 2017. This program gives anyone who is a resident of this country, healthcare for no cost up front when receiving the service. There are about 42,000 Bahamians or 10% of the population that have enrolled, but membership is voluntary. The Out Islands are serviced by small government clinics. There are 80 primary care providers, including 4 private labs which provides care across New Providence, Grand Bahama, Abaco and Exuma.
About 8% of GDP is spent on health care in 2018. This Nation is one of the least efficient nations in the world when it comes to value-based care, according to the National Health Insurance Authority.
A tax on wages to fund National Health Insurance was proposed in 2018.
In December 2017 there were 349 registered nurses and 98 clinically trained nurses in the Department of Public Health, 753 registered and 283 clinically trained nurses in the Public Hospitals Authority. 226 registered nurses were needed by the Department of Public Health and 302 by the Public Hospitals Authorit.
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