House Passes Health Data Expansion Bill

May 8, 2024 | 5 Comments

The House of Assembly on Friday voted to pass the Bermuda Health Council Act Amendment Bill which the Government said “will expand the collection of important health system data to enable stronger and more timely health policy decision making, more effective delivery of health services, and improved population health outcomes.”

Its enactment is pending Senate debate.

Minister of Health, Kim Wilson explained, “As reported in the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment Report, our current data collection efforts are insufficient for fully assessing our present and future healthcare and social care needs and informing sound decision-making.

“This legislation is a critical step in fulfilling our 2023 Throne Speech initiative to support data collection to control medical “co-pays” for our vulnerable population. The reality is that to better understand health care costs we need to have better access to the right data. For many people, co-pays are too high, and this discourages those who cannot afford it from accessing the preventative care we know they need. This means we see people in healthcare when they are already sick and in need of expensive treatment. This is a moral imperative and this data collection is a critical part of that process.

“Also, as we continue towards universal health coverage [UHC], accurate data to enable evidence-based and informed decisions is essential. I know the lack of data can sometimes frustrate stakeholders who are working collaboratively with the Ministry towards UHC. Indeed, the Health Council itself often encounters service providers seeking more information and data than it can provide. Because we do not have all the answers, this legislation is critical on several levels as we undertake, for example, to design a Core Benefits Package. Unfortunately, past efforts to obtain the necessary data have not always met with success.”

The Government spokesperson said, “Consultation with health businesses was a crucial part of the legislative process as the Government seeks to operationalise the licensing of health businesses. Two formal stakeholder sessions were held last year, in October and again in November, and approximately 520 health businesses were invited to participate each time. Participants included allied health, community health organisations, dentistry, diagnostic services, government health services, nursing, pharmacies, primary care, and specialist care providers. The Throne Speech initiative to control medical co-payments for the vulnerable was one of the focus areas at the November session. The commentary from the October sessions can be found in published consultation reports on and the November session will be uploaded this week.

Some examples of Successful Data-Driven Initiatives in Healthcare:

  • United Kingdom: Implementation of data analytics tools has led to a 20% reduction in hospital readmission rates by identifying high-risk patients and providing targeted interventions to prevent complications and improve post-discharge care.
  • Cayman Islands: Data-driven policy interventions have contributed to a 30% increase in childhood vaccination rates, leading to improved herd immunity and reduced incidence of vaccine-preventable diseases in the population.
  • Jamaica: Utilization of healthcare data analytics has facilitated a 20% increase in early detection of chronic diseases, leading to timely interventions and improved management of chronic conditions, ultimately reducing long-term healthcare costs.

“By systematically gathering and analyzing relevant data sets, the Ministry of Health aims to identify opportunities for quality improvement, enhance care coordination, and optimize resource allocation to address healthcare needs effectively. We can also model the future of healthcare by having more data that will allow for more accurate predictions of future needs and supply. The data sets would include population health data, healthcare utilisation data, clinical quality indicators and healthcare expenditure data [e.g. money spent on medications, medical devices, overhead/administrative costs, etc.]. The legislation is not designed to micromanage individual practices or interfere with office finances. The Council’s data collection is to be directed by the Minister under section 7 of the Bermuda Health Council Act 2004 to ensure data collection is targeted and authorised and to avoid a ‘data sweep’.

“Furthermore, the legislation includes safeguards to protect the privacy and confidentiality of patient information, ensuring that sensitive data remains secure and used solely for its intended purpose of informing healthcare policy and decision-making. The legislation does include standard penalties for enforcement purposes, which is normal. However, the penalties outlined in the newly passed bill are similar to those already present in the existing Act.”

Minister Wilson concluded, “We value the important role that health businesses play in delivering quality care to our community, and we are committed to supporting them throughout this transition. We will continue to need healthcare providers involved as they know healthcare and have the knowledge of delivering healthcare to our community. We fully anticipate more engagement sessions and consultation in the future, customised to suit the feedback we are seeking. We encourage open dialogue and collaboration as we work together to build a stronger, more resilient healthcare system that ensures access to essential care for everyone and benefits all residents of Bermuda.”

The Government spokesperson said, “For further information visit”

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Comments (5)

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  1. Sara says:

    The co-pays that are too high are GEHI and Future Care!

    • Joe Bloggs says:

      How interesting. Are co-payments on PLP Government run insurance programmes higher than private run insurance programmes?

      • Sara says:

        Yes! Because they pay less for the visits than the other insurance companies.

  2. Question says:

    The last thing I want is the government meddling in my healthcare.

    • Hilarious! says:

      HA! Most of the people who bungled Bermuda’s response to covid-19 are still in office and on committees. Now the new threat to the world according to the World Health Organization (the WHO – which also bungled the covid-19 response) is Bird Flu.

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