Ministerial Statement by the Minister of the Health , The Hon. Kim N. Wilson, JP, MP
Mr Speaker and Honourable Members,
I stand before this Honourable House to table the Bermuda Hospital Board Annual Report 2013 and to provide an update on their annual reports.
Mr Speaker, BHB has a legislated requirement to put its audited financial statements before parliament and public. I’m therefore very pleased to bring forward this update.
Mr Speaker, the auditing of BHB’s financial statements was delayed initially by an official review requested by the Office of the Auditor General in 2013. Since then, it has been an ongoing challenge to complete the audits for all subsequent years. However, unaudited financial information has been shared publicly by BHB since then, and the BHB senior team defended its unaudited accounts publicly before the Public Accounts Committee in 2017.
I am very pleased to inform you that an unqualified audit opinion has been achieved for the fiscal year ended 31 March 2013 and that the Annual Report for the year under review is now ready for publication.
Mr Speaker, with the publication of the 2013 report before you, BHB’s public reporting obligation is still four years behind. Hard work continues to bring BHB up to date and it is hoped that over the coming fiscal year progress will be made so that BHB can once more meet its mandate of publishing audited financial statements within six months of the end of fiscal year.
Mr Speaker, as this Honourable House will be aware, BHB is responsible for all services provided from the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital (KEMH), Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute (MWI) and the Lamb Foggo Urgent Care Centre.
KEMH is funded by private and public health insurance payments, Government subsidies and, to a lesser extent, by direct payments by uninsured individuals. The Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute is financed primarily by the resources provided by an annual operational grant from Government.
The 2013 Annual Report discloses the work BHB undertook to manage the increasingly evident financial challenges caused by rising healthcare costs and restrictions in available funds. It undertook a number of finance, governance and salary reviews, which were subsequently shared publicly in full or in summary. These documents remain available on the BHB website.
The safe transfer of services into the new Acute Care Wing was being planned as construction closed in on its final year. The project was awarded one of the highest accolades available in the international public private partnership industry – winning the ‘Best Accommodation Project’ at the Partnership Awards 2012.
In this year under review, Mr Speaker, BHB also maintained specialist accreditation in its lab with the US-based Joint Commission International, and was designated as a Beast Imaging Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiology – at that time, BHB was the first to achieve this standard. BHB became a designated international training centre for emergency cardiac care courses, numerous new tests and technologies were introduced in Diagnostic Imaging, the Special Care Baby Unit, and Allied Health Services; new programmes for patients of heart disease started, and a wheelchair clinic opened for people to have assessments and adjustments to their equipment.
Mr Speaker, while much has happened since the year under review, this annual report is an important part of the BHB story. We look forward to the annual report for subsequent years coming to publication so that we can fully appreciate the work that has been undertaken to improve quality and save costs.
Thank you, Mr Speaker.