Health Minister: ‘Leading By Example’

February 3, 2011

[Updated with video] Minister of Health Zane DeSilva said he has attempted to lead by example since being appointed  to his portfolio by Premier Cox one hundred days ago — donating blood, having a colonoscopy and being vaccinated for flu in an effort to heighten public awareness of health management issues.

Minister DeSilva said he has also tried to bring attention to Bermudians who must contend with handicaps by publicising the difficulties experienced by the vision-impaired and the blind and marking the United Nations’ Awareness Day for Persons With Disabilities.

He said he has also been involved in long-term planning for Bermuda’s health care system and its various associated programmes – working on plans for a new adjunct to the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital, overseeing Ministerial programmes on diabetes and hypertension and launching a groundbreaking new report on the island’s key health care issues.

Minister DeSilva’s full remarks follow below:

Madam Premier and Ministers,

To say that my first 100 days as Minister of Health has been busy would be a huge understatement.

I have spent a lot of time listening and reading volumes of material to gain a better understanding on the intricate relationships between all of the players in the Ministry of Health.

But that’s not all that we have been doing.

I have made the promotion of a healthy lifestyle one of my priorities and the best way to do that is to lead by example.

To that end, I have:

* Given blood and promoted the huge benefit that the community derives from blood donations;
* Had a colonoscopy and tried to make sure that the general population appreciates the importance of health screenings;
* I have been vaccinated for the flu to promote prevention; and
* I have asked the Health Promotion Section of the Department of Health to revitalise their Well Bermuda Programme, as we must address the issues of Obesity in this country – especially among young people.

I have also taken to heart the need to promote awareness of those with disabilities living in our community.

I have been involved with celebrating the UN Awareness Day for Persons with Disabilities.

I have also taken the time to try to gain an appreciation for the difficulties experienced by vision impaired people as they move around the City of Hamilton.

The promotion of short term goals has not been our only focus. We have also been developing long term plans and gathering data which will assist with planning for the future.

Building on the success of the Diabetes Management Programme, we have established a Task Force on Hypertension, to develop disease management guidelines to improve management of hypertension.

The Department of Health and the Bermuda Health Council produced the Health in Review report which is a first of its kind report on the state of health in Bermuda.

A working group within the Ministry of Health have completed a National Health Plan for Bermuda which will be implemented in phases. The Plan, which will be released for public consultation shortly, sets out 11 objectives which are based on the core values of EQUITY AND SUSTAINABILITY.

The Health Insurance Department held a conference on Health Financing at which all the of the key partners in the Health Community came together to discuss the long term financial position of our health system.

Finally, to ensure the long term viability of our only acute care hospital, the Bermuda Hospitals Board has entered into a Public Private Partnership (a first for Bermuda) with Paget Health Services to finance, design, build and maintain an addition to our current hospital which will serve Bermuda well into the future.

Not only has the contract been signed, but ground has been broken, and real work has started on the new building.

Before I conclude, let me assure you that we intend to maintain the pace that we have set at the Ministry of Health.

The public will continue to see me taking the lead, and they will continue to hear about the improvements which are planned for our healthcare system.

Thank you.

Share via email

Read More About

Category: All, News, Politics

Comments (9)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Terry says:

    Wow!!!! All these staements from the PLP. Something is in the wind.

    Gotta be the UBP’s fault………….or the Cocolition……………….Keep spinning that COG

  2. Stop says:

    Terry, do yourself (and us readers) a favor and stop the hatred and cynicism. Maybe you’re suffering from a lack of affection at home…sort it out.

    • Tru Dat says:

      Yeah Terry…you jump on everyone, so early, with so much cynicism that you have lost credibility. Try giving us all some substantive, insightfull feedback rather than adolescent chit chat.

    • White Jesus says:

      You gotta have home first for that to be possible “Stop”! Why hell, you’ve got to have significant others. I’m afraid Our friend has neither.

  3. Terry says:

    Stop, please stop the cynisim. Maybe your suffering from reality.

  4. Terry says:

    I almosy forgot. “Readers”. Oh the irony in that.

    Amazing you can read but not write.

    Double irony.

  5. Terry says:

    The good Lord created Adam and Eve. Then he created others.

    Frustration has it’s grip. The irony is just unbelievable.

  6. Robert Bryce says:

    Personally I think Minister DeSilva’s “Lead from the Front” approach is something that has been needed for many years. As a law maker he needs to show he, and his colleagues, are no different to the population and like other non PLP Parliamentarians, take a drug test and “Lead from the Front” in that area.

  7. Call as it is says:

    The day I and many others see our MP’s and so called leaders taking Drug Tests I’ll
    start thinking differently about them!!