Video: Bermuda Hospitals Board On Finances

July 25, 2013

The Bermuda Hospitals Board [BHB] held a press conference yesterday [July 24] to provide an update regarding its activities and finances.

BHB Chairman Jonathan Brewin said, “We are at an unprecedented moment in healthcare history in Bermuda. Certainly, the struggle for money for the hospital is not new. You can look back to the 1970’s and see the hospital was challenged for revenues.

“However, at this point in time, it is not just the hospitals that are hurting. All Bermuda is feeling financial pain. Healthcare costs are unsustainable for the island, and there simply is not the money, whether you look at individuals, businesses, or Government to support the rate of increase we have experienced over the last ten years.

30 minute video of the press conference:

“We are looking at what services BHB currently delivers. A big cause of BHB’s escalating costs relates to increasing the range of services over the last few years,” continued Mr Brewin.

“We employ about 30 more physicians than we did nine years ago, including cardiologists, anaesthetists, oncologists, hospitalists and a neurologist, endocrinologist, infectious disease specialist, palliative care specialist and nephrologist. We also have new services, such as cardiac rehab and new tests that came with the specialists, such as nuclear stress testing.

“But in this market, the key issues are not about more and faster access – it is about appropriate and timely access, with a keen focus on cost control.

“BHB is therefore assessing which services it has to offer– such as emergency, inpatient wards and support services, surgery, complicated diagnostics tests, and acute mental health services. No one else offers these services, but they are vital to the running of the island.”

Physican Compensation Presentation:

“The next stage is to see whether other services could actually be provided more effectively and efficiently by either Government or the private sector. Long term care is a good example. It might have made headlines recently, but there is opportunity for more partnership working in this area.

“Be in no doubt, that if BHB is asked by Government to play a role in this service, we will. We are a service provider. But it is right that Government should look into a community-based solution for the island.”

“The balancing of clinical quality against the drive to control costs is never easy and we will never forget that at the heart of this challenge are patients, and also the 1,800 staff who work at BHB,” said Mr Brewin.

BHB CEO Venetta Symonds said, “For the majority of people walking through our corridors, sitting in waiting areas, keeping a loved one company, or about to slide into the MRI tube, the hospitals’ issues are less important than their own personal situation. This is how it should be. When your health is in need, it is the only thing you need to worry about.

“However, in order to ensure you have the services you need, when you need them, the Board, the staff here, the Ministry and other healthcare stakeholders have to address major operational, structural and strategic issues.”

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Comments (2)

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  1. Impressive says:

    i am taking the unspoken but implied issue and being proactive.. To make a long story short, we all better find more natural and proactive ways to take care of your health as the Hospital will be cutting back its care due to “financial” reasons and will probably start prioritizing patients based of demographics (and i am not necessarily talking about race” imho

  2. We should take matters into our own hands by purchasing health insurance or long term care insurance. Through this coverage, it’s much easier to receive care from other facilities and not just the hospital. It’s expensive to pay for these especially if you have a very limited budget. Through communities and other facilities, one can still receive the healthcare they need.