Thursday, Jul 9, 2020
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Pharmacy owners express concerns as NHI looms

President of the Bahamas Pharmaceutical Association (BPA) Michelle Finlayson is lauding the intention of the National Health Insurance (NHI) Secretariat to meet with stakeholders next week, to discuss compensation and primary care benefits packages related to the implementation of NHI.

However, as the date for implementing NHI approaches, Finlayson and other BPA members expressed concerns about whether or not they would have enough time to put together their business plans for 2017, or plan their finances if they need to borrow additional capital.

Northern island representative of BPA Ricardo Miller spoke yesterday with Guardian Business about his concerns on NHI.

“With the expansion that is going to be taking place very soon, we really need to be very forward so that we can service our patients and be sustainable as a business at the same time.”

He said it is “cloudy” as to what is going to take place with NHI.

Miller asserted the need for “answers very soon” in order to make a decision going forward.

“We have budgets to put in place. We cannot be in the dark. That is all we are asking for. It’s hard for us to move forward, and we don’t know what is going to be taking place. On the Family Islands, we have to order inventory that is twice the size as our counterparts in Nassau,” he said.

Local pharmacy owners and members of the BPA Calli Smith and Shantia Hield lamented the already high costs of doing business.

Hield pointed out that, in her opinion, pharmacies pay out more licensing fees in terms of pharmacy council fees and other fees for preliminary documents.

Both owners also mentioned the pressure of dealing with the tax compliance certificate (TCC) and not being reimbursed in a timely fashion in some instances.

Hield, in particular, argued that the fixed costs are too high in The Bahamas. She directed her biggest costs to security and electricity.


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