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Board chairman: ‘Situations will not be repeated’

The new Bermuda Hospitals Board is undertaking a series of “corrective actions” to strengthen governance and ensure that certain “situations are not repeated”.

And health chiefs have also pledged to be more transparent and accountable to the general public in order to address a slew of concerns in the community.

Since its appointment in February, the Board has sifted through a number of reports and reviews which, according to Chairman Jonathan Brewin, has enabled it to “define an effective and powerful strategic plan going forward”.

Changes already instigated include “a restructure of the Chief of Staff Office and improved due diligence in the area of recruitment”.

“Stronger governance and oversight is already in place in the organisation following the introduction of a Performance Management Framework and revised procurement process,” Mr Brewin said.

“Additionally, a number of improvements, including a review of medical by-laws, improving physician relationships and strengthening the focus of medical leadership on quality of care, are key responsibilities of the new Chief of Staff.”

The Board is also in the process of winding down the controversial subsidiary Healthcare Partners Ltd, which it ruled did not conform to good governance.

Executive bonuses will be scrapped and the Board will also be renegotiating contracts with doctors this year.

“Physicians will be offered new contracts on different terms and conditions, which will reward them fairly and include quality targets to support organisational objectives,” Mr Brewin said.

“An agreed physician compensation framework will ensure that decisions on physician remuneration are made within the agreed framework. The Chief of Staff Office will not be able to agree physician contracts without oversight.”

In order to win back public trust in the hospital, Mr Brewin said that staff had to be more accountable. As a result, summaries of two reports will be made available to the public — the Towers Watson review of physician salaries which was completed last month, and two KPMG reviews into the impact of Government revenue caps and the affordability of the new hospital wing. Details of executive salaries will also be made public.

“We were acutely aware of the many serious concerns the community had regarding BHB, including quality of care, financial stewardship, leadership, transparency, and accountability,” Mr Brewin said.

“We had also heard some troubling stories from individuals who had not been treated respectfully or well, or who had experienced poor levels of care. We are truly sorry for any pain and upset caused by the hospitals to these individuals and their families.

“Despite these issues, we agreed to join the Board because we understood how critically important our only hospitals are to the community, and we were committed to understanding what has happened, fixing the problems and moving forward to ensure that all Bermudians receive the attention and care they deserve.

“As we move forward it is vital that we shift healthcare away from the political arena so that, as a community, we can focus on providing the highest quality but fiscally sustainable healthcare that Bermudians deserve.”

BHB chairman Jonathan Brewin

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Published June 27, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated June 26, 2013 at 8:45 pm)

Board chairman: ‘Situations will not be repeated’

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