Graph 1 - Components of Health Expenditure.
Graph 1 - Components of Health Expenditure.
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The Bermuda Health Council (BHeC) announces the release of the National Health Accounts Report 2013. This is the fourth year BHeC has produced the report, which is essential for monitoring Bermuda’s health system financing and expenditure and developing initiatives to contain costs. 

The report details health system costs for the fiscal year ending 31st March 2012 (FYE 2012) and explains changes since 2006. 

The National Health Accounts Report provides a breakdown of where the money has come from to pay for the health system, and what that money was spent on. The publication provides stakeholders and the public with information necessary to understand, measure and assess our health system. The Report allows BHeC to meet one of our core mandates – to monitor health costs – as recommended by the Oughton Report (1996). 

Some of the key findings of the 2013 report are: 

Total Health Costs in FYE 2012 (Table 6 of the report) 

  • Bermuda’s total health spending was $678.4 million 
  • This amounted to 12.2% of GDP 
  • Health expenditure per person was $10,562 
  • Total health spending remained constant from FYE 2011, when total expenditure was $678.9 million, representing 11.8% GDP; and per person expenditure was $10,570. 

 

Funding sources (Table 1 of the report) 

  • 70% of financing was from the private sector ($475.8 million) 
  • 30% of financing was from the public sector ($202.6 million) 
  • Health insurance accounted for 56% of financing sources ($379.2 million) 
  • Individual out-of-pocket payments represented 13% of funding ($91 million) 
  • Donations to non-profit organizations contributed 1% of health financing ($5.7 million) 

 

Spending (Table 1 of the report) 

  • 50% of health spending was in the private sector health ($341.7 million) 
  • 50% of health spending was by the public sector health ($336.8 million) 
  • The Bermuda Hospitals Board accounted for 44% of total health expenditure 
  • Overseas Care accounted for 13% of total health expenditure 
  • Private, local health providers accounted for 23% of total health expenditure 
  • Prescription drugs represented 7% of total health spending 

 

Context 

  • The growth rate for health-related economic activity was 0% in FYE 2012; 
  • As a percentage of Bermuda’s GDP, however, health spending grew from 11.8% in FYE 2011 to FYE 12.2% in 2012. 
  • In 2011 the average expenditure as a share of GDP for the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) was 9.3% 
  • Life expectancy in Bermuda is lower than in a majority of OECD countries. Moreover, countries such as Israel, Korea, Greece, Slovenia and Portugal, which spend less than half the amount Bermuda spends per capita, have higher life expectancy than Bermuda. 

 

Jeanne Atherden, Chairman of the Bermuda Health Council commented: “The Bermuda Health Council was established, in part, to monitor health system costs and trends. Publication of the fourth National Health Accounts Report is in keeping with this mandate and enhances policy-makers’ abilities to make evidence-based decisions to improve our health system. To ensure these findings are accessible to stakeholders and the public, BHeC has also made available a two-page “In Brief” summary of the key findings alongside the full, technical report. The National Health Accounts In Brief is especially relevant for the general public, who are impacted by health costs on a day-to-day basis and may find the format more user-friendly.” 

Dr. Jennifer Attride-Stirling, Chief Executive Officer of the Bermuda Health Council, commented: “We are proud to bring to the public the fourth National Health Accounts. It is a report of tremendous value to the health system as it enables us to track trends in health funding and spending across time, and to benchmark us to other countries. We are unique among many small island states in being able to produce such accounts. This year’s findings are encouraging in terms of health costs beginning to stabilize. It is a common trend given the current economic environment. However, the proportion of GDP dedicated to health costs continues to increase, highlighting the need to continue all efforts to control health spending and utilization.” 

Dr. Michelle Ye, Health Economist of the Bermuda Health Council, commented: “The National Health Accounts is a report of fundamental importance, forming the basis of much health system analyses. The production of annual National Health Accounts is one example that highlights Bermuda’s determination 


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