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The Office of the Chief Medical Officer regulates health professionals, controls illness outbreaks, monitors disease and health trends and grants permits for controlled drugs, burials and customs exemptions.
What do they do?
The work of the OCMO focuses on 5 main areas:
1. Registration of healthcare professionals and facilities: monitors the credentials and qualifications of health professionals, their standards of practice and the safety and quality of care in healthcare facilities, such as diagnostic laboratories and pharmacies
• Registration and re-registration for healthcare professionals and facilities
• Handles complaints from the public against healthcare professionals
• Provides Letters of Good Standing for registered healthcare professionals
2. Drugs Control Services: monitors the importation and export of controlled (banned) drugs and related products to assure these items are safe and are delivered to the appropriate persons.
• Issues personal and commercial importation licenses for controlled drugs
• Assists individuals who want permission to import banned drugs for medical reasons
3. Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit Services: monitors the occurrence of diseases in the island, both infectious disease (communicable diseases) and some chronic non-communicable diseases to help prevent and control these diseases.
• Receives reports and investigates possible outbreaks of infectious diseases
• Advises healthcare professionals and the public on managing infectious diseases which have the potential to spread widely in the community
• Provides information to the public on disease prevention and control
• Conducts intermittent community health surveys and assessments
• Provides health education presentations to workplaces, schools, government departments and other institutions, as required
4. Public Health Focal Point Services: for communications from international agencies related to health.
• Reports occurrences of local disease outbreaks to international authorities for guidance and advice
• Receives notifications of travelers arriving in Bermuda with specific infectious diseases so that control measures to protect the public can be put into place.
5. Statutory Function Services: puts into action many duties related to health which are required by Bermuda laws, such as granting permission for burials, relief of Customs duty, advising government on health matters and serving on statutory boards and councils.
• Issues Customs letters approving importation of personal medications or commercial drugs
• Considers request for Customs duty exemption of medical devices according to Tariff Code regulations
• Issues letters of approval for burials, overseas transfer of remains, disinterment
• Approves requests funding of emergency overseas medical care by the Lady Cubitt Compassionate Association (LCCA)