Health Minister Zane De Silva said one of the highlights of the 2011 fiscal year was the groundbreaking of the new hospital facility. *File photo
Health Minister Zane De Silva said one of the highlights of the 2011 fiscal year was the groundbreaking of the new hospital facility. *File photo

WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 19: Good morning,

I am pleased to stand before you today to release the Bermuda Hospitals Board 2011 Annual Report.

With the release of this report, BHB’s public reporting obligations are now up to date.  

These Annual Reports give BHB an opportunity to publish their financial statements along with details of its activities during the fiscal year and to account for how it has re-invested its surplus.

I am happy to inform you that the Annual Report for 2011 (the year ending March 31st 2011), provides an extremely encouraging and positive narrative about how healthcare is being improved in Bermuda, while remaining focused on controlling costs and maximizing its efficiency.

The Report for 2011 discloses that, through its fees and ongoing efficiency programmes, BHB has achieved sound finances as it prepares to meet the obligations of the KEMH Redevelopment Project, while also continuing to improve healthcare services in Bermuda.

Highlights the fiscal year include:

$4m being saved in consultancy costs and reduction in senior leadership;

The groundbreaking of the new hospital facility;

The launch of a digital mammography service;

A new Cardiology practice being established to improve care for people with heart disease;

Stroke mortality being halved compared to 2003;

The introduction of a Fast Track service which has subsequently reduced wait times in the Emergency Department;

A new medication checking system to improve patient safety;

And the launch of the Mental Health Plan.

All of these things show that an investment in quality patient care continued to be a constant focus for BHB.  In fact, patient satisfaction trended upwards and comments made by patients were used to identify and prioritise improvements...such as the new food delivery system which went live with its first phase at the end of the 2011 fiscal year.

Maintaining and improving services requires BHB to make enough surplus to purchase both replacement and new equipment; repair and maintain their facilities and infrastructure; invest in staff; and make the clinical improvements necessary to keep pace with international standards in treatments, medications and diagnostic tests.

Recognising the need for greater efficiency, the BHB reduced the size of their senior leadership team and reviewed their contracts for Consulting Services – resulting in savings of $4 million.

In the 2011 fiscal year they also introduced their first memorandum of understanding (MOU) that essentially capped a local insurer’s exposure to BHB costs.  This, and another similar moves stemming from this premise, has helped bring greater stability to an insurer’s exposure to hospital costs.

I hope this Report gives the community a better understanding of the huge agenda that BHB is working to, as well as the many improvements that are already taking place.

The Ministry of Health and BHB would like to apologise to the public for the delay in the publication of the 2011 Annual Report, which was caused by a longer than anticipated auditing process.  It has been, as always, a very thorough and professional process. 

In conclusion, I am happy to report that the process of auditing the 2012 finances is already nearing completion.

Thank You.