Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: April 21, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963855 | Print ISBN: 9781412941860 | Online ISBN: 9781412963855| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Although the Bahamas ranks 52nd among world incomes ($20,200), social indicators do not always mirror this relative prosperity. Nevertheless, the government is committed to providing universal access to healthcare, and expenditures on health are generally higher than other countries in the Caribbean region. The government spends 6.4 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on healthcare and assigns $1,220 (international dollars) per capita to total health expenditures. The 1999–2000 national budget allotted 14.8 percent of total expenses to healthcare. However, only 1.7 percent of those expenditures are targeted for social security. The private sector supplies 52.5 percent of total health expenditures, and 40.5 percent of private healthcare costs are out-of-pocket expenses. There are 1.05 physicians, 4.47 nurses, and 0.07 dentists per 1,000 population in the Bahamas. The government has instituted a series of health-care reforms and is working to broaden the safety net for the most vulnerable members of the ...