Find Health and Medical expertise in Bahamas, The
In 2013 government expenditure on health was 3% of GDP. In the most recent survey, conducted between 1997 and 2009, there were 105 doctors and 447 nurses and midwives per 100,000 people. Additionally, in the period 2007–12, 99 per cent of births were attended by qualified health staff and, in 2013, 92% of one-year-olds were immunised with one dose of measles. In 2010, 100% of the country’s population had access to adequate sanitation facilities.
More than half of health care in The Bahamas (54%) was paid for by patients or funded by other non-governmental entities in 2012, e.g. private insurers, charities or employers. Total health expenditure constituted 7.5% of GDP in 2012, of which 46% (US$759 per capita) was covered by the government.
The rate of infant mortality in The Bahamas was 10 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2013, with an under-five mortality rate of 13 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2012. While the under-five mortality figure has fallen since the early 1990s, it is not yet in line with the country’s target of eight deaths per 1,000 live births, as defined by Millennium Development Goal 4 (MDG 4).
Communicable and non-communicable diseases
Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) accounted for an estimated 72 per cent of all mortality in The Bahamas in 2012. The most prevalent NCDs are cardiovascular diseases, which accounted for 33 per cent of total deaths across all age groups in 2012. Cancer, diabetes and non-communicable variants of respiratory diseases contributed 17 per cent, 7% and 1% towards total mortality, respectively (2012).
Communicable diseases along with maternal, perinatal and nutritional conditions in The Bahamas accounted for an estimated 20 per cent of all mortality in 2012. The prevalence of HIV in The Bahamas, as a percentage of the population aged 15–49 years, was 3.2% in 2012 and showed some reduction in the period 1990–2012.
In 2015 the government of The Bahamas announced plans to ensure that all Bahamians have access to affordable, efficient and quality health care. These plans began with the launching of an implementation strategy to ensure that all Bahamians have access to a Universal Health Insurance system.
Universal Health Insurance is currently being phased in by the government, which will lead to every legal Bahamian resident, regardless of their financial means, having access to health care from private and public doctors, clinics and hospitals.
The Bahamas has signed and ratified the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which includes ‘the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health’. The covenant commits signees to providing healthy and hygienic environmental conditions, controlling epidemic diseases, improving child health and facilitating access to health services without discrimination.