Senator Dunkley On 2011 BHB Annual Report

September 21, 2012 | 48 Comments

[Updated] Responding to the recently released BHB Report, Shadow Minister of Health Senator Michael Dunkley commended the quality-of-care improvements the Bermuda Hospitals Board [BHB] has made, however said the salaries and benefits showed a 12% [or $18.4 million] increase over the previous year, and the public should know the salaries of senior management at the hospital.

Senator Dunkley said: “We are pleased that Minister DeSilva has finally released the 2011 BHB Annual Report [PDF], including the audited financial statements for 2010/2011. We applaud the many quality-of-care improvements the BHB and its dedicated staff have initiated during that time, including digital mammography, a Fast Track emergency department service and an improved medication checking system.

“We note that the 2011 financial statements refer to a fiscal year ending 18 months ago. We appreciate that the Minister apologized for the report’s lateness, but we reject placing the blame on the Auditor General’s office. Members of Parliament were told in April that the document was being printed, and the Minister has not explained why it would take six further months to release the information to the public.

“We have said before that timely information is essential for the best understanding of hospital operations, which have serious implications for the quality of Bermudians’ healthcare and how much it costs. After all, the Bermuda Hospitals Board received $142.5 million in Government funding this year, more than any other Ministry, and the hospitals account for 43 percent of Bermuda’s total healthcare costs.

“The National Health Accounts report released at the end of July provided a glimpse into the hospitals’ finances for 2011, and having now seen the 2011 BHB Annual Report, we come to the same conclusions:

  • We see the hospitals account for approximately two thirds of the increase in Bermuda’s total healthcare spending ($60 million out of a $94 million increase) from 2009 to 2011.
  • From 2009 to 2011, spending by the Ministry of Health and the Bermuda Hospital Board rose 26 percent compared to a rise in private-sector spending of just 8 percent.
  • The hospitals continue to increase their revenue primarily from higher inpatient and outpatient charges rather than operating more efficiently. The revenue they collected from inpatient and outpatient charges rose over 10 percent in 2011.

Senator Dunkley continued: “Minister DeSilva says the BHB saved $4 million by cutting consultants’ costs and one senior management position. These kinds of efficiencies are to be welcomed, although the financial statements don’t indicate where these cuts were made. In fact, the financial statements indicate a drop in ‘consulting and business expenses’ of only $33,605.

“Minister DeSilva says the BHB is focused on ‘controlling costs and maximizing its efficiency.’ Yet salaries and benefits for 2011 showed a 12 percent, or $18.4 million, increase over the previous year. Has the hospital staff increased significantly? Were annual salary increases particularly generous during a severe recession? The financial statements do not provide the answers to these questions, but we believe the public deserves to know.

“We also believe that the public, by law, should know the salaries of senior management at the hospital, especially now that the suspended chief of staff, Dr. Thomas, continues to be paid while under investigation. The Bermuda Hospitals Act requires the BHB annual report to set out ‘the scales of salaries and wages paid to officers and servants of the Board.’ The fact that Minister DeSilva says this has not been done in the past is immaterial; it is the law, and by refusing to disclose the information, the Minister shows that he gives only lip service to transparency and has no problem ignoring this law.

“Finally, Health Partners Limited (HPL), a wholly owned subsidiary of the BHB established through legislation in 2008 enabling the BHB to enter medical partnerships with local healthcare providers, showed a loss in 2011 of over $700,000. Since the intent of HPL was to create additional revenue for the hospitals, we ask Minister DeSilva to explain the loss and indicate if HPL will continue to aggressively invest in local healthcare services,” concluded Senator Dunkley.

Update 2.00pm: Health Minister Zane DeSilva responded saying: “In his response to our BHB report, former UBP Leader turned OBA Leader Michael Dunkley attacked government for the amount of money spent on salaries and benefits for doctors, nurses and other medical professionals.

“Given Mr. Dunkley’s criticism of salaries for doctors, nurses and other medical professionals, I wonder if he plans to slash their salaries and benefits?”

“The PLP believes in standing strong for Bermudians by ensuring that we have the highest quality medical care available for our people. In order to attract and retain high quality doctors and nurses, we need to ensure that we are providing them with competitive salaries and benefits packages.”

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Comments (48)

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  1. Rockfish#1 and#2 says:

    The fact that DeSilva refuses to release information as required by LAW, really should not surprise anyone.
    He knows that by doing so the Government will be faced with embarrassing questions.
    Once again the public(taxpayer)is being spoonfed!

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    • Truth says:

      Dear Mr. Dunkley stop fronting Craig as the leader of the OBA. Lets just call him a puppet. Craig if you do win make sure you place your people as Ministers, so you will have the numbers on your side. If you don't you will be just another puppet. Freak the idiot clowns from the UBP.

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      • anon says:

        again, the typical reply from the PLP is to distract and blame.
        They will do anything to try to change to subject, and avoid the questions at hand.

        In regards to this issue, Mr. Dunkley's relation to Mr. Cannonier is irrelevant, as are Mr. Dunkley's personal financials. What is relevant is that the law says certain information must be released, and the fact is that it has not been released. Sounds fairly straight forward to me.

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      • Zombie Apocalypse says:

        "Truth", your suggestion that Craig Cannonier is a 'puppet' is insulting and demeaning to black people. You are suggesting that a black man cannot be in charge of a multiracial political party. Craig Cannonier was elected into the role fair and square.

        Obviously, since you can't accept that a black man can be in this postion, you must be some kind of white supremacist.

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        • OMG says:

          Multiracial party LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL 80% off one color LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL

          heheheh

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        • Yada Yada Yada says:

          No one is saying a black man cannot be in charge. However he should know if he is a willing or unwilling puppet...we will only find out if the OBA become the next Government...

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      • Anon Ymous says:

        It's a novel concept but maybe Dunkley speaks to this matter ahead of Craig because he is the shadow minister for health and it's kind of his job - as a taxpayer, I for one, welcome that our government delegates should step up to the plate and do the job we're paying them to do. Only by addressing the difficult issues can we identify, clarify and rectify in order to improve and move forward.

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    • Mitts Mate says:

      Mr. Dunkley show us your financial statements or you are like Mr. Romney you need to hide them. As a public figure we need to know what you're worth and how legally you earned your bottom line.

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      • alicia says:

        Senator Dunkley doesn't have to show his financials - he operates a privately run company. If tax payer dollars were funding his company then he should have to show his audited reports, but until that happens, the public doesn't need to know that... what we need to know is about the funding of the health system.

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      • Zombie Apocalypse says:

        Mitts Mate, why don't we start with seeing the PUBLIC financials
        that Zane DeSilva is keeping SECRET?

        Is that easy enough for you to understand, or do I need to explain it again in simpler terms?

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  2. Amazed says:

    Mr Dunkley is on the money here.The fact is that not doing something they had planned to do is not a saving against expenses it only means they did not go through with planned waste!

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  3. hmmm says:

    I think Mr Dunkley should also release his finances and let us know his income.

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    • Just the Facts says:

      Why?

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      • LOL (original TM*) says:

        In that case Doc Brown is luky he's not still trying to ruin u I mean run Bermuda. I'm sure his finacials would be very interesting too.

        LOL

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    • Come Correct says:

      He owns a private business...while we're at it let's see zanes then, guarentee thats juicier.

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      • whaoo says:

        Dunkley is Bermuda's Mitt Romney - same same same ides, dress, speak, talk, same, same, same always denouncing the black voter. same same same.

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        • Rockfish#1and#2 says:

          @ whaoo,

          Can you provide one example of Dunkley "denouncing the black voter"? Or are you throwing up a smokescreen for DeSilva's refusal to obey the law of the land?

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        • street wise says:

          "Dunkley ... always denouncing the black voter ..." That is bull! Show me your evidence....

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    • Seriously?? says:

      Absolutely NO NEED to see what any person has in their wallet or bank account - what we should be MORE concerned about is their cv/resume. Does a person have what it takes to run a country, can we put our faith in this person to have our best interests, does this person act ethically and morally... THESE are the questions to ask and the research we as voters should be doing - NOT asking how much cash they have! Please people - do your research and vote for the PEOPLE that have the smarts to run this country. Don't vote party, vote people.

      That said, I have done my research and will be voting for Mr. Dunkley.

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    • Rockfish#1 says:

      I have no interest in Dunkley's private finances, however the public purse should be of interest to all taxpayers.

      Unfortunately, Zane thinks it is private information despite what the law makes abundantly clear.

      Why cant Cox order him to comply? Oh,I almost forgot she needs him more than he needs her.

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  4. Goose says:

    This report highlights why health insurance premiums are where they are. If the hospital increases it's charges by 10% then the insurance companies have to increase rates.

    Is socialist healthcare going to lower these costs or are inefficiencies in the Gov't administration of a national health plan going to increase costs further on a per person basis? Would you be happy losing another 10% of your salary to be told that you can't seek overseas care?

    This current Government that can't even pay their dental premiums on time, I see little hope for handing over control of the entire healthcare system to them. Or any other administration.

    As is the insurer's hands are tied in that they must pay what the hospital charges, with no opportunities to negotiate prompt pay discounts or prevent unnecessary services from occurring.

    The system is currently set up to benefit the Doctors and BHB. A lot of money is being made at the expense of the rest of us. Redistribution of wealth through and through, though this labour government has forgotten that they are supposed to redirect wealth back to the people as opposed to concentrating it in the hands of a lucky few.

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  5. Say no says:

    Does anyone realize that the new hospital is not for the average bermudian. There are on 90 private rooms. And to add insult to injury, there was no ICU included in the new hospital. This was done as an after-thought.

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    • say hell yes says:

      does it matter? We will have an ICU is what matters most. give it up. look how state of the art the new hospital will be.

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      • Seriously says:

        without the right people that are trained and certified, it doesn't make sense to have a new facility for the hospital. have to make the changes now before the new facility is open. some of the people are not trained or certified - SCARY!!!

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  6. Grouper says:

    Amazing on all levels. Begin positive and stick the knife in. typical as true to false face.

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  7. meow! says:

    i would consider it an improvement when we do not have to be flown abroad for treatment that should be done here, so apparently in the past fifteen years or so there have been quite a number of people requiring overseas treatment for one reason or another, we should be trying to accomodate our people here with qualified surgical ward and more local people being given the opportunity to be sponsored to become surgical doctors and specialized treatment,.. its great to have the machines but after many diagnosis persons seek outside opinions.. also the emergency department is slower than snails, having spent time there last year I can tell you first hand that it is not faster because of the new proceedure, also ones physician is NOT noified even though itmay state it on a form.. Things may appear to be on paper improved but obviously far from it .. although workers in general do work hard but it is still much lacking overall,..obviously we are building a new hospital for a reason and not just cosmetics, there is an entire overhaul, and I do agree with some of the mentioned suggestions so far.

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  8. Terry says:

    Meow......................

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  9. Concerned Bermudian says:

    To Michael Dunkley please run in the next election.
    WE NEED A REAL LEADER in these times.

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  10. Concerned Bermudian says:

    Michael Dunkley has my vote. Dont know why people complain about his business income. We need someone to fix the country,think about it, what is more important in these times.

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    • Yada Yada Yada says:

      Micheal Dunkley if elected should become finance minister because he is so tite he squeaks when he walks...

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  11. joe says:

    Minister's Desilva's reply was childish. Nothing more. If what he said yesterday was misleading, or indeed a lie, people have a right to know. It is Dunkley's job to let us know. Desilva did not reply to the request for clarification.
    How stupid are you guys?

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  12. Bda sinkin ship says:

    PLP Please Line my Pockets!

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  13. Zombie Apocalypse says:

    I notice Zane DSilva's reply. Usual fullofsh#t non-response. God that guy is such a frikkin moron.

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  14. Bermudian says:

    Those PLP voters who think that it is perfectly acceptable for a Govt. to derail from answering questions are living in dreamland. And why people keep bringing up the US election boggles my mind. Let's all be real here the comparison would not happen if Mitt Romney was black. And no, Dunkley does not need to show his financial affairs to anyone, he runs a privately owned business. He doesn't have OUR money that's going into the purse and being mismanaged and now were BROKE. It is the PLP's duty and responsibility to produce and lead this Country, not mine or yours. The PLP wanted this role so badly well they've had it for 14 years and that's enough. The audience does not want an encore.

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  15. Pastor Syl Hayward says:

    Although one would think it would be better, and less expensive, if we didn't have to go overseas for treatment, that does not appear to be the case. Local hospital costs have increased considerably, according to an earlier report, placing an inordinate load on the health care budget, while the level of care does not appear to have improved. Are we going to be forced to have treatment here, willy-nilly? I do hope not.

    One has to wonder what the factors might be that could drive up the cost of local hospital care so steeply. It is easy to speculate that salaries play a big part, and without concrete figures to refute that, the public can be excused for making an assumption that the reason the salary figures are not made available, despite it being our RIGHT to know, is because we, the public, might be justly aggrieved (yet again) at how OUR money is being spent.

    It would appear that despite the much touted efforts toward transparency, it remains a myth, mere words with no substance.

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  16. Opressed says:

    Mr. DeCieva will NEVER be able to match wits against Mr. Dunkley or Mrs. Jackson, he's just outclassed.

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  17. I Love that Mr. Desilva cares about the staff at the BHB, and taking care of them and their salaries, the problem I see with this scenario is the only people that are being taken care of is upper management, the people that actually work (The Doctors and nurses ) receive minimal compensation and certainly are not taking home the big buck. Anyone visiting the Hospital should take the elevator to the fifth floor, if you do you will have trouble forcing your way back down to your floor and room that you are paying top dollar for. Oh and by the way, why are we still paying Dr or Mr. (that was never clear) Donald Thomas, 700,000 still, he is not working here anymore. That money would go a long distance for some very qualified hospital staff.

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  18. Keepin' it Real...4Real! says:

    it dont matter if its ubp plp oba abc or uni...if ur poor ur F#@KED...thats why they call it health care , f#@k health care!!...lets get on with PREVENTION ...WITH PREVENTION WE DON'T NEED THEIR CARE...everything you eat or drink makes you sick , all the meds the doc gives you causes other problems , more pharmacueticals!!...keeping you sick , then disssolving your entire savings or your childrens inheritance, hence keeping them poor,then you may enjoy your last days in the lovely HEALTH CARE provided by....who knows?

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    • Keepin' it Real...4Real! says:

      i fergot to jus let you know that you die when ur money runs out.

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      • Come Correct says:

        But if you grow a few trees to medicate for free they'll lock you up, people aren't tired of having corperations run their lives? I boycott pharmaceuticals by remaining drug free and using weed, I preferre to stay natural and keep it green. The giggles are a far better side effect than rectal bleeding...jussayin.

        "Money doesn't grow on trees" haha yes it does and those in charge don't want you to have it.

        "There are only two things that are infinite, the universe and human stupidity". Over a century and we still believe a plant is more dangerous than man made drugs. Over a century and only a small minority can see the truth and who gains to profit from it. Everyone who reads this please google the cure for cancer and tell me what you find doesn't make you irate. There's no profit in cures. In other words, they don't give a f@ck about you, its all about $$$. Wake up and smell the sensi!

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  19. Triangle Drifter says:

    Zane Desilva is trying to put lipstick on a pig. Guess What? It is still a pig. Who is he fooling? Oh yeah... the Stand Strong PLP Family.

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