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Minister: new health service set-up to improve efficiency

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Kim Wilson, the health minister (File photograph by Akil Simmons)

An integrated service model for healthcare is expected to reduce duplication and increase efficiency, the health minister said today.

Kim Wilson added that the plan to create universal health coverage would develop over “a number of years”.

She told the House of Assembly, in a virtual session, that the new Bermuda Health Plan will help to transform a system “at a breaking point with unsatisfactory health outcomes and unsustainable cost increases”.

Ms Wilson said: “The transformation to universal health coverage through the Bermuda Health Plan will be rooted in the organising principle of integrated care and delivered via a single payer mechanism.

“Integrating health services across the continuum of care that is public health, mental health, acute and post-acute care and community services will contribute to improved health outcomes and greater resiliency in times of disaster.

“This patient-centric approach enables Bermudians to get the care they need, when they need it, and to have quality care provided at fair value.”

Ms Wilson added: “The Government expects this integrated service model to be developed and stood up in phases over the course of the healthcare restructuring process.

“It is intended and anticipated that the integrated service model will reduce duplication, enhance information sharing, and realise synergies, efficiencies and economies of scale that cause savings to be realised with respect to our healthcare costs.

“However, the development and implementation of universal health coverage is a task to be achieved over a number of years.”

Ms Wilson said that the new system was “based on proactive, preventive out-of-hospital services, rather than one that is based on reactive high cost hospital care”.

She added that the Government aimed to develop its relationships with organisations such as the Bermuda Medical Doctors’ Association, as well as nurses, dentists and other health professionals.

Ms Wilson said that closer partnerships will also be forged with health insurers, the Chamber of Commerce, patients’ groups, the Bermuda Health Advisory Group and economic think tank BermudaFirst.

She added: “Indeed, collaboration with BermudaFirst has commenced already, and a working group is being set up to progress next steps in advancing health reform.

“For its part, the Ministry of Health is already working in partnership with the Bermuda Hospitals Board and Bermuda Health Council in formulating reform strategy.”

She told MPs: “The message here is that without proactive modifications to the island’s healthcare system, projected healthcare expenditure risks overwhelming our economy.

“An ageing population means that there will be fewer working adults to pay for the increasing demand and costs of care.

“If nothing is done, we will see deteriorating healthcare outcomes and overwhelming financial challenges for Bermuda.

“The challenge of rising demand and changing demographics faced by our health system requires transformative reform.

“Bermuda must have a holistic healthcare system that prioritises prevention, chronic disease management and healthcare delivery via primary care, with a restructuring of the health system financing.

“Starting with the Bermuda Health Plan, we will be on the way."

*To read the Ministerial Statement in full, click on the PDF under “Related Media”.

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Published November 13, 2020 at 9:51 pm (Updated November 13, 2020 at 11:57 pm)

Minister: new health service set-up to improve efficiency

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