$195.24 Million For Health & Seniors Ministry

February 27, 2013

[Updated with video] The proposed 2013/14 Budget for the Ministry of Health & Seniors is $195.244 million, an increase of $4.266 million [or 2.23%] on the base budget from the previous year, Minister of Health and Seniors Patricia Gordon-Pamplin said today. Over 72% is the funds allocated to the Bermuda Hospitals Board.

“The Ministry will provide the Board with a grant of $37.344 million [a reduction of $1.234 million] which funds the full operation of the Mid Atlantic Wellness Institute,” the Minister said.

“As well as the MWI grant, the Ministry pays the hospital bills for vulnerable populations. We pay 100% for children and the indigent as well as covering 80% or 90% of the standard hospital benefit for our Seniors.

“For the 2013/14 fiscal year, we have budgeted $104 million for patient subsidies for the youth, indigent and the aged – as well as providing some support for the Continuing Care Unit at the Hospital.

“Since the closing of the Medical Clinic at the Hospital, there have been many among our most vulnerable populations who have been unable to access primary care.

Minister Gordon Pamplin continued, “Instead, many of these Bermudians have either gone without care or they have gone to the Emergency Department. This situation is bad for the people involved, and it drives up costs for the entire healthcare system.

“We will address this by providing primary care services for those Bermudians who cannot afford health insurance. We will address their immediate care needs, and we will ensure that they have the appropriate treatment and support for any chronic conditions.”

Minister Gordon-Pamplin’s full statement follows below:

Good afternoon,

The proposed budget for the Ministry of Health & Seniors is $195.244 million…which is an increase of $4.266 million or 2.23% on the base budget from the previous year.

The vast majority of the Ministry of Health & Seniors’ budget (over 72%) is allocated to the Bermuda Hospitals Board.

The Ministry will provide the Board with a grant of $37.344 million (a reduction of $1.234 million) which funds the full operation of the Mid Atlantic Wellness Institute.

The team at MWI will continue with the implementation of the Mental Health Plan during the coming financial year, and they will also be working closely with the Department of Health on the provision of services for Bermuda’s special-needs population.

In addition, we anticipate that MWI will be heavily involved in the development of the details around the Mental Health Court – especially around the Court’s expected needs for the assessment and treatment of persons who are before the Court.

As well as the MWI grant, the Ministry pays the hospital bills for vulnerable populations. We pay 100% for children and the indigent as well as covering 80% or 90% of the standard hospital benefit for our Seniors.

For the 2013/14 fiscal year, we have budgeted $104 million for patient subsidies for the youth, indigent and the aged – as well as providing some support for the Continuing Care Unit at the Hospital.

Since the closing of the Medical Clinic at the Hospital, there have been many among our most vulnerable populations who have been unable to access primary care.

Instead, many of these Bermudians have either gone without care or they have gone to the Emergency Department. This situation is bad for the people involved, and it drives up costs for the entire healthcare system.

We will address this by providing primary care services for those Bermudians who cannot afford health insurance. We will address their immediate care needs, and we will ensure that they have the appropriate treatment and support for any chronic conditions.

Our vision is to not just provide primary care, but to link that care with wellness programmes. If we can take steps to ensure that wellness and good health is a priority, we can have a long term impact on the cost of healthcare.

The Hospitals, then, account for more than 72% of the total budget for the Ministry of Health & Seniors.

The remaining 28% or $53.9 million is allocated to the Ministry Headquarters, the Department of Health, and Health Insurance Department.

In 2013/14, the Ministry Headquarters is being restructured to incorporate the Office of the Chief Medical Officer. The CMO was previously the Head of the Department of Health…but this is changing. The new Office of the CMO will be responsible for overseeing the healthcare provider system and providing policy support to the Minister and Permanent Secretary.

The Health Insurance Department (HID) has been provided with additional funding to cover the claims submitted for those who are eligible for age subsidy and youth subsidy and receive care overseas.

HID also pays age subsidy for seniors who have Cat Scans, MRI’s, Ultrasounds and X-Rays at approved facilities outside the Hospital. Historically, the claims for portability-of-subsidy and diagnostic imaging have exceeded the budget, but we believe that we have appropriately funded the Department this year.

As most will be aware, the Health Insurance Department also manages the health insurance product, FutureCare.

Currently, FutureCare policy holders pay different premiums depending on when they were able to sign up – but they all get exactly the same benefits.

We will be changing that to ensure that policy holders who receive the same benefit pay the same premium. We will ensure that there is a balance between the cost of the benefit package and the richness of the benefits provided.

Thank You.

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Comments (5)

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  1. This is by far in my view the most important ministry and I for one would like to see this ministry offer all seniors full medical benefits,future care was and is a joke.many seniors still work not because they dont have finances but because they cant afford the cost of full benefits for health care.

    My mother stays employed at 80 years of age because of her medical situation would totally wipe her out finacially if she was to retire,so is that fair and some joker would come along and say that she did not prepare well in life,well lets be for real and most senoirs I am certaian would agree,who would have ever thought 20 to 30 years ago that the nest egg you put aside for retirement would be swallowed up in the high cost of living that we see today and medical bills on top of it.

    Our senoirs have made the greatest sacrifice to this country and it is off of their past achievements that we enjoys a great deal of benefits as working class people,so they in return should receive a good retirement future and if they are not in that position to do so for whatever reason,health care should be the last thing they have to worry about,so I am all for major medical and full benefits being given to our senoirs from the government purse and yes the younger generation and working class should be made to foot the bill.

    • martin says:

      I Agree ! but having said can somebody explain to me first why should a senior have to register to be giving the hospital subsidy of 80 & 90 per cent when it should be a right most are not aware of and second when so those that hold insurance and are registered for the subsidy !why is it the subsidy kicks in first and the balance is what the insurace only pays the balance be that of 20 or 30 per cent giving the age ? the insuarance is charging an awfull amount of money but yet are only liable for a small percentage of the cost of a resgistered senior !!!!! make government do away with this registration as it is obvious at time of treatment who is a senior ! And bring the cost mandatory of all insuarence to drop 80 to 90 percent to reflect the 20 or 10 percent the portion that they are infact responsable for DR Jennifer attride-stirling spoke about age subsidies about 3 to 4 months ago in a local news paper can she please explain !

      • martin says:

        my mistake hospital age subsidy of 80 percent up to 75 years of age and 90 after ! please somebody correct me if i am wrong!!!!

  2. Autumn Fire says:

    Wonder if Seniors should be classified as those aged 70 years old and above, look at the many 65 – 69 year olds today, they’re “sprucie” as ever! Good for them…

    After age 70, Seniors should be free to doctors, medication, public transportation, and other healthcare needs. At the age of 80 years, no Senior should be worrying or working just to make ends meet – they should be cared for by family, friends, Churches, charities etc along with the Government. They should be pamperd, loved, nurtured, entertained, exercised, fed, clothed, listened to for wisdom and well travelled to keep busy and healthy.

    Thanks to the businesses and organizations who also are giving our Seniors’ discounts and freebies (groceries, gas, clothes, beauty salons etc) others should follow – overseas, many restaurants have Seniors menus with lower prices and great health choices.

    We should be honoring and caring for our Seniors, they should be held in high esteem.

    A Country is known by the way it cares for it’s seniors, children, disabled and vulnerable persons.

    Looking forwarded to a more detailed statement of the great effort Ministry of Health is moving towards in caring for Seniors (eg new cost of Future Care for both groups paying different rates, funding care for Seniors at home or senior residences to bring the many seniors out of KEMH etc).

    Thanks Minister Patricia Gordon-Pamplin and Ministry of Health and Seniors, keep up the good work going forward for our seniors care.