An unprecedented decade of health reform ahead

Health systems across Bermuda, The Bahamas and the Caribbean (“the Caribbean region”) are preparing for an unprecedented period of reform, as governments set out their plans to achieve universal health coverage (“UHC”). Across the English- and Dutch-speaking islands in particular, almost all are currently at some stage of proposing, designing or implementing programs to improve coverage, quality and affordability of care.

The road to reaching these goals is not without economic, social, technical and political challenges, but in KPMG’s view, the Caribbean region has a better chance than any other that has yet to do so, of achieving UHC by 2030.

This article outlines some of the unique solutions being adopted by the Caribbean region on their path to UHC. It sets out some of the key reforms currently underway across the region, the particular issues that are being encountered by island health systems working towards ‘health for all’, and the innovative assets, solutions and advantages that may enable these to be overcome.

Our findings represent the experience of KPMG teams who have personally delivered numerous UHC projects across the region, as well as interviews with health officials in nine countries and quantitative analysis of health system data. Countries participating in the survey include The Bahamas, Trinidad & Tobago, Barbados, Bermuda, Grenada, St. Lucia, Jamaica, Sint Maarten and Aruba.

We hope that this analysis is useful in sharing lessons and progress between decision makers and officials across the region, and catalyzing a more collectivist approach to UHC.