Monday, May 23, 2022

How Could ObamaCare Help The Bahamas?

The Importance of National Health in The Bahamas

Health is Wealth

Moving Forward With A National Health Care System For The Bahamas

By Dr Kevin Alcena

“The... patient should be made to understand that he or she must take charge of his own life. Don't take your body to the doctor as if he were a repair shop.” (Quentin Regestein)

This article will attempt to show the readers in an objective systematic way, an analysis of the importance of national health in The Bahamas in the form of a parisology.

“To enjoy good health, to bring true happiness to one's family, to bring peace to all, one must first discipline and control one's own mind. If a man can control his mind he can find the way to Enlightenment, and all wisdom and virtue will naturally come to him.” (Buddha)

“The chief condition on which, life, health and vigor depend on, is action. It is by action that an organism develops its faculties, increases its energy, and attains the fulfillment of its destiny.” (Colin Powell)

A National Health System coupled with good system planning would benefit the Bahamian society in a very diamantiferous way. We have to have a saxicoulus acephalous mandate for our health system for a generation that precedes us.

We must be smarter than the Americans and more diligent and transparent than the British. A comparative study of the two health care systems – The USA and The UK - conducted by some researchers a few years ago revealed that:

“According to a 2006 OECD comparative data study, the total health expenditure in 2004 by the United Kingdome was 8.3% of their gross domestic product (GDP), and the United States was 15.3% of their GDP - whereas the mean of 30 countries was 8.9%. This same study reports health expenditure in the United Kingdom as US $2,546 per capita, and US$6,102 per capita in the United States, - whereas the 30 country mean was US $2,550.

Not surprisingly, public spending differs quite significantly between the United States and the United Kingdom as well. Of their respective 2004 total health expenditure public spending - in the United States was 44.7% - whereas the 30 country mean was 73%.” (The Health Care Manager, Volume 26 Number 3).

The Bahamas can also learn a lot from the Swiss and Rwandans Health system. For example, “Rwanda’s health sector has undergone a fundamental transition in the last century; in the time before colonial era, health care consisted of traditional African healing methods. The German and later Belgian colonial period saw the emergence of faith-based health care, and with it - the introduction of modern treatment methods.” (Rwanda National Health Sector Policy, 2005).

We have to be very innovative and creative. The most important element in implementing a health system in the Bahamas is a health information system.
“A national health information system (HIS) plays an important role in ensuring that reliable and timely health information is available for operational and strategic decision making that saves lives, and enhances health. Despite its importance for evidence-based decisions, health information systems in many developing countries are weak, fragmented and often focused exclusively on disease-specific program areas.” (

“Health care in Canada is delivered through a publicly funded health care system, which is mostly free at the point of use, and has most services provided by private entities. It is guided by the provisions of the Canada Health Act of 1984.

The government assures the quality of care through federal standards. The government does not participate in day-to-day care - or collect any information about an individual's health, which remains confidential between a person and his or her physician.

Canada's provincially based “Medicare systems are cost-effective - partly because of their administrative simplicity. In each province each doctor handles the insurance claim against the provincial insurer. There is no need for the person who accesses health care to be involved in billing and reclaim. Private insurance is only a minimal part of the overall health care system.” (Wikepedia)

Hippocrates, the Greek Father of Medicine once said, “A wise man should consider that health is the greatest of human blessings, and learn how by his own thought to derive benefit from his illnesses.”

Health care is not a new phenomenon. Imhotep the Father of Medicine, was not just an imaginative architect; he was also a doctor and philosopher of the human body and mind and he contributed to medicine in a number of ways:

• “Imhotep's concepts included specializations in many methods of medicine, compared to today's physicians who primarily master one area of expertise. He introduced a blend of new methods including astronomy, philosophy, religion and protective amulets to achieve new breakthroughs.

He was a pioneer in helping to develop tracheotomy to resolve respiratory obstructions, cauterization to circumvent excessive bleeding while operating, and blood drainage to cure diseased collections.
• Imhotep diagnosed and treated hundreds of diseases including diseases of the abdomen, the bladder, the rectum, the eyes, and many of the skin, hair, nails and tongue. He treated tuberculosis, gallstones, appendicitis, gout and arthritis.
• A very significant resource of today's modern medical practices is irrespective of Imhotep's medical school; medical tools such as forceps, scissors and surgical blades were all imitative of ancient Egyptian medical apparatus. And certain remedies for elementary disorders that were introduced from ancient Egypt medicine are still practiced today; castor oil for laxatives, honey as an antimicrobial and Acacia as a cough remedy all are in retrospect of Imhotep's teachings and forward-thinking medical protocols.”
Imhotep’s most famous quote was "Eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we shall die." Of course this is quite ambiguous today as we know diabetes, and hypertension is affecting the global health system like it is nobody’s business, and the general population of our global family is suffering as a result of their eating and drinking habits. Redd Foxx was also sardonic when he said, “ Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday, lying in hospitals dying of nothing.”

According to the statistics posted by the World Health Organization for 2011:
• 346 million people worldwide have diabetes.
• In 2004, an estimated 3.4 million people died from consequences of high blood sugar.
• More than 80% of diabetes deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries.
• WHO projects that diabetes deaths will double between 2005 and 2030.

The inexplicable global health system in regards to obesity and hypertension has impacted all governments in the world in a negative way. Obesity is a resipiscence because it is one of the biggest health problems in the world due to our lifestyle of food choices.

There is a global war on obesity and health experts are stentorophonically crying out to the world’s citizens to stop this trilemma because it is killing us and putting a great strain on the health system. Some statistics taken from the World Health Organization points out that:
• Worldwide obesity has more than doubled since 1980.
• In 2008, more than 1.4 billion adults, 20 and older, were overweight. Of these over 200 million men and nearly 300 million women were obese.
• 65% of the world's population live in countries where overweight and obesity kills more people than underweight.
• More than 40 million children under the age of five were overweight in 2010.
• Obesity is preventable.

“Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” (World Health Organization, 1948).

How would ObamaCare help The Bahamas?

It is quite simple. America leads and the world follows.

It is all indication that there is a new pedagogy in the global health system. ObamaCare will ignite the consciousness of leaders to implement a comprehensive national health service in their respective countries in a bombastic way.

Take a look at Cuba for example. “The Cuban health care system is respected around the world, and is literally decades more advanced than any system found in Latin America. For this reason, the Cuban system serves as a model for Third World developing nations.” (

In conclusion, we in The Bahamas have an opportunity to model our health system with the best management team in our country. National health should be run by a quasi government corporation that compliments strategical business sense in the protocol of them delivering quality health service in a circumambagious way.

“The greatest wealth is health.” (Virgil)