Zane De Silva said that a primary focus for 2012 would be to implement the  National Health Plan and provide ‘equity and sustainability’ throughout  the island’s health service. *Photo by Kageaki Smith
Zane De Silva said that a primary focus for 2012 would be to implement the National Health Plan and provide ‘equity and sustainability’ throughout the island’s health service. *Photo by Kageaki Smith

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 24: An extra $19 million will be ploughed into the Ministry of Health this year, Minister Zane De Silva announced.

The Ministry’s budget of $190.98 million is an increase of more than 10 per cent compared to last year.

Mr De Silva said that a primary focus for 2012 would be to implement the National Health Plan and provide ‘equity and sustainability’ throughout the island’s health service.

The Health Minister revealed that his Ministry and BHB are working towards entering a Memorandum of Understanding to cap the Hospital Subsidy.

He said: “If we put a cap on Subsidy, we will be able to budget.  We will know exactly what our maximum liability will be for Hospital Subsidy.

“If we agree to a cap of $104 million, the maximum that we will pay will be that $104 million. We could pay less, but not more.

“A cap will also put pressure on the hospital to control their costs and to actively manage utilization of testing and diagnostic imaging.

“Patient safety would not be compromised, but every test does not have to be run for every patient.”

Mr De Silva said that almost 75 per cent of the Ministry of Health’s budget went to the Bermuda Hospitals Board.

He added: “The new hospital is currently on time and on budget.

“And we are looking forward to it opening in April 2014.”