Nassau The Bahamas – The Government of The Bahamas has officially launched the National Prescription Drug Plan (NPDP). Minister of Health the Hon. Hubert Minnis described the initiative as a “partnership” between the private and public sector.
“Rather than waiting in line at the Princess Margaret Hospital or some of the public clinics, patients can visit the private participating pharmacies near to them and receive medication,” he said.
The launch marked the first of phase of a programme that 10,000 Bahamians have already registered for. The Plan will positively impact the health of approximately 35,000 in the first phase and eventually some 100,000 persons throughout The Bahamas are expected to benefit. Among those in attendance was Camille Johnson, permanent secretary; Algernon Cargill, NIB director; Tami Francis, NPDP manager and staff of the Ministry of Health and National Insurance Board.
“It is every Government’s responsibility to provide quality health care to each citizen of The Bahamas and the Government of today is no exception,” said Minister Minnis. We are embarking on an infrastructural revolution so that we can see changes both at the Princess Margaret Hospital and the Rand Memorial Hospital. We would update you with these changes very soon.”
Minister Minnis said although the country is experiencing a recession, the Government has budgeted approximately $220 million annually for health care.
The NPDP was introduced at the Soldier Road location of Lowe’s Pharmacy, the first pharmacy to sign on to the Plan.
The Minister thanked the staff of National Insurance Board and the Ministry of Health for their assistance in developing the plan.
Raquel Wilson, the first beneficiary of the NPDP presented an ACE Rx Card on behalf of her children Jonathan and Raven, and received free of charge the first medication under the NPDP for one of 11 non-communicable diseases.
The Plan covers diseases such as arthritis, asthma, breast cancer, diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, glaucoma, ischaemic heart disease, major depression, prostate cancer and psychosis.
Card holders can now use their ACE Rx cards at participating pharmacies to receive free-of-charge more than 160 prescription drugs and medical supplies prescribed by physicians.