Health Minister Tables Patient Safety Legislation

November 23, 2016

The Bermuda Health Council announced the tabling of Patient Safety Legislation by the Minister of Health and Seniors, saying it “seeks to strengthen quality and patient safety by bringing into effect Section 13 of the Bermuda Health Council Act 2004, governing the regulation of healthcare businesses.”

The Council said, “The Patient Safety Legislation does three things – ensures that health services are provided in suitable facilities; monitors high risk medical equipment to ensure it is safe to use to diagnose and treat health; and encourages transparency so that referrals for care are clinically appropriate, medically necessary, and not compromised by financially vested interests.

“These new patient safety laws will ensure that health services are provided in first rate facilities, by trained health professionals, who use safe medical equipment to diagnose and treat health conditions.”

“The Council has been monitoring the performance of the island’s health services since 2007 and has collaborated at length with health professionals, statutory bodies and professional associations, health charities, insurers and members of the public in creating this new legislation.

CEO, Tawanna Wedderburn states, “The new Patient Safety Legislation is a progressive step for Bermuda’s health system. Such laws exist in other jurisdictions where the standard has been set for providers to deliver safe, quality care at fair costs.

“Bermuda needs laws to ensure that every time someone enters a health facility, safety is never compromised and first-rate care is assured. Bermuda, like other countries, can achieve credible, safer health environments where increased transparency protects patients and helps them to make more informed choices about their health.”

Minister of Health and Seniors Jeanne Atherden commented, “Based on the Health Council’s findings over the years, many of Bermuda’s healthcare facilities are run effectively and efficiently and the services provided meet best practice standards.

“The Patient Safety Legislation intends to implement preventative measures that will further protect patient safety, improve quality care and transparency, whilst ensuring that patients are actively participating in keeping costs fair. This ensures that Bermuda’s residents receive a high-quality experience.”

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