Public asked for ideas on tackling disease
The Bermuda Health Council has asked people for “innovative solutions” to help fight against serious diseases.
The Council is developing a Chronic Disease Innovation Programme, which will fund initiatives to address high rates of non-communicable chronic diseases and associated disabilities.
It has launched an online survey to get suggestions from the public.
Tiara Carlington, the project manager, said: “In some way, we are all impacted by the growing burden of chronic disease in Bermuda, whether as patients, friends, family members, employers, health insurers or health providers.
“However, we are not of the belief that the status quo is the only pathway to the future. We imagine that through a collaborative approach we can do much better and enable better health for all.
“This fund creates an opportunity for the system to explore new ways of reducing the burden and improving the health of the population.”
A BHC spokeswoman said: “Health professionals, community leaders and groups know what is needed to support and strengthen the health of the population.
“Given this existing knowledge, there are valuable resources within the community that are in an ideal position to propose interventions that align with Bermuda's national strategies for improving public health.”
The spokesman said that all members of the public can submit ideas for health interventions. The BHC will then put out invitations for formal proposals.
Funding for the programmes will be based on the evidence which supports the proposal, the scale of impact, the projected and supported return on investment and sustainability of the benefit.
Initiatives will also be considered based on their ability to address risk factors that are common across chronic conditions, such as smoking and obesity.
The spokeswoman added the initiative is funded through insurance, with a portion of this year's Standard Premium insurance rate going towards the programme.
She said: “All funds will be used to support public health interventions that consider local context, are derived within the local environment, and can complement the health system in addressing this major health system issue of chronic disease.
“The BHC will provide programme oversight, and all reporting of the use of awarded funds and outcomes resulting from the funded initiatives will be made public.”
Ricky Brathwaite, the acting CEO, said there has been a deliberate shift of focus to find ways to prevent and manage chronic diseases in Bermuda.
Dr Brathwaite said: “We are thinking about long-term investments in our communities and expecting improvements in health and cost reductions.
“Over time, there have been some really great ideas that have been brought forth by members of the public, and we are excited that we now have an opportunity to empower our communities.”