Health Council survey
In June 2018, the Bermuda Health Council conducted a survey to capture the public’s opinion about healthcare issues and the Health Council’s role in tackling these issues. Over 550 people responded, representing varied education levels, professional backgrounds, races and genders, but with one resounding unified message - Healthcare in Bermuda is too expensive and it needs to be at the top of the Council’s list to do something about it.
Over 75% of respondents felt the role of the Health Council is to protect the public by making healthcare affordable, particularly with health insurance premiums, cost of care and the price of medications; and to monitor and report on Bermuda’s healthcare state of affairs. Respondents felt that the Health Council is a source for useful information and evidence based policy, with “valuable insight” (53%). However, it was noted that the information could be communicated more effectively with improvements in the frequency and availability of information to the public and healthcare providers (both were prioritized by over 68% of respondents). Respondents also felt that there are opportunities for stronger regulation of healthcare.
Overall, the Council needs to do more in these areas to make it clear what their role is and how they act on behalf of Bermuda. As one concerned respondent stated, “I have heard of the Health Council, but that’s it.” The Council is committed to ensuring transparency and reliability of messages and that appropriate actions are taken towards improving the affordability of healthcare.
In support of the feedback, the Council recently held a strategic planning session which saw the team prioritizing its work on health legislation to ensure care can be delivered in more cost effective community settings, and expediting regulations to control the price of prescription medicines.
Tara Hines, Healthcare Data Analyst stated: “The results we received from the 2018 Bermuda Health Council Feedback Survey confirm much of what we are seeing on a daily basis in our research, with regard to healthcare costs. In order to make sure more people know about the work that we are doing and that they can access information they may need, we have created a Data Request Form on our website (www.bhec.bm) and we provide regular updates online about what our team is working on in our Behind the Scenes Activity Log. We are also using data, in collaboration with the broader healthcare community, to find ways to provide more public value for the dollars being spent.”
• Press release from the Bermuda Health Council