Bermuda Hosts Health Financing Conferences

November 14, 2011

Two health financing conferences — the Health Financing Summit  [HFS] and the 6th Caribbean Conference on Health Financing Initiatives [CCHFI] — will take place next week at Rosewood Tucker’s Point.

Both are hosted jointly by the Ministry of Health and the Bermuda Health Council and aim to deal with health systems and health financing but are two separate conferences.

The HFS will take place on Monday November 21 and is for local stakeholders with a focus on the National Health Plan; while the CCHFI will take place on November 22, 23 and 24 and is a Caribbean-inclusive conference — its main audiences being health and social security agencies from across the Caribbean regarding national health financing programmes.

Health Financing Summit [HFS]

This will be the second year for the HFS, which enjoyed great success last year with approximately 180 people in attendance for the full-day event.

Topics ranged from the redevelopment of King Edward VII Memorial Hospital and its financial implications to an analysis of Bermuda’s health system indicators versus other countries.

This year the HFS will include on its agenda keynote presentations on health financing and health reform from guest speakers from the Pan American Health Organization and the Harvard School of Public Health.

The conference is by invitation only, and it will also represent the formal kick-off of the next phase of Bermuda’s National Health Plan and mark the first time that all of the National Health Plan Task Groups have gathered together under one roof to initiate development of implementation strategies towards the National Health Plan.

The task group members will be split into ‘breakout groups’ to work on various topics and issues, thus creating a process of active dialogue and output.

In attendance at the HFS will be various high-level local health system stakeholders and National Health Plan Task Group members.

Minister of Health Zane De Silva said: “In order to make progress on the National Health Plan reforms, it is essential to do so in partnership with a broad range of community stakeholders. It is essential that everyone work from the same, shared platform, which will be facilitated through the speakers at the HFS.”

6th Caribbean Conference on Health Financing Initiatives [CCHFI]

This year’s CCHFI follows five successful previous conferences held in Belize in 2010; St. Maarten in 2009; Trinidad and Tobago in 2008; Aruba in 2007; and Turks and Caicos in 2006.

The primary objective of this conference is to share knowledge and experiences on health financing challenges and innovative measures implemented to address these in the English, French and Dutch-speaking countries of the Caribbean.

The conference is by invitation only and is targeted for senior officers and managers from social security and other national health financing organizations; Ministries of Health and Finance; health insurance groups; academic and consulting institutions.

The conference will examine critical issues influencing the design and sustainability of National Health Financing programmes globally and regionally.

It will also highlight models of governance for successful Health Care Programme administration by Social Security Systems in the Caribbean and identify areas and opportunities for closer collaboration among Caribbean Social Security Organizations in tackling health financing concerns.

This year’s conference will focus specifically on:

  • International developments in health financing systems
  • Regional health insurance
  • Reinsurance options
  • Managing overseas care
  • Information technology
  • Country case studies
  • Ethics in health system reform

Individual country updates will also be heard from the various Caribbean countries represented.

The Platinum sponsors for the conference will be: Apollo Health Street & Ebix; The Argus Group; Bermuda Hospitals Board; IBM and Morneau Shepell.

“CCHFI is about dialogue and sharing experiences with our Caribbean neighbors, under the guidance of the keynote speakers,” Minister De Silva said. “In the past the conference has helped Bermuda — via the Health Insurance Department and the Bermuda Health Council — to learn that many of the challenges being faced in Bermuda are not unique, and that comparatively speaking, Bermuda has a sophisticated system.

“Some new ideas have been gleaned from the conference in the past in terms of our approach to overseas claims, the benefits of a more advanced primary care system, efforts to detect and deal with healthcare fraud and to look more closely at reinsurance and how this financial protection can help Bermuda’s health insurers including the Government. I anticipate that this year’s conference will be equally as fruitful.”

The Minister added: “The governmental leaders representing various countries have an opportunity to see some of the best of Bermuda’s tourism product and undoubtedly they will take their good experiences back home with them and spread the word!

“This conference plays its small part towards injecting a quality event into the Conference sector of the hospitality industry, while showcasing Bermuda’s healthcare system to all our Caribbean counterparts. In particular, it helps to highlight the successes and learning opportunities of the Social Health Insurance model that has been in place in Bermuda since 1970.”

Highlights of both conferences will run on CITV in the days after they wrap up.

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