The Bermuda Health Council (BHeC) announced today that it will consult in the coming weeks to discuss ways to make healthcare more affordable for all and build on the Ministry of Health’s initiative to modernize Bermuda Hospitals’s Board fees.

A BHeC spokesperson said: “Healthcare is changing globally and locally and the island’s health expenditure has reached a breaking point.

The mandate of the Health Council is to explore options for better management of the health system, assuring that we spend our health dollars more wisely.

“We have the technical knowledge and expertise and will assist the Ministry of Health in the calculation of fees and revisions of the fee structure at the hospital.

“We facilitate collaboration between the public and various healthcare leaders to ensure that everyone has access to better healthcare when they need it, at a price they can afford.

“Our ultimate goals ensure that:

  • Everyone receives the care they need without financial hardship
  • Everyone has access to quality health services

“The BHeC will also advocate for changes in what we invest in, such as more comprehensive plans for mental health and paying for the prevention of our most chronic diseases and not only curative care.

“For example – paying for screenings for diabetes and depression, while providing most cost effective healthy life-style options to improve health so that we as a country can spend less on expensive treatment procedures like prescription drugs and amputations.”

The consultation will be conducted in three phases:

  • Phase 1 begins on March 9th with the release of a consultation brief and a consultation period that will seek to align hospital fees with international best practices for international competition and quality care. This phase also includes a stakeholder meeting on March 15th at 5:30pm.
  • Phase 2 will take place between April and July of this year and will focus on maintaining good population health through revising the essential list of appropriately priced health services and reviewing better strategies for insurance coverage.
  • Phase 3, which begins in September of this year, will focus on providing actuarial modeling and technical guidance from the recommendations stemming from the first two phases in preparation of implementation in 2019.

The spokesperson concluded: “We know people in Bermuda want and deserve to have good quality health services at affordable prices. We also know that in order to fulfill that criteria we must be open to change – therefore we look forward to gaining valuable feedback during the upcoming consultation.”