BHB Releases 2012 Annual Report

Bermuda Hospitals Board today announces the publication of its 2012 Annual Report. The Report was delayed by a review, called for by the Auditor General in 2013, into the financial statements of 2011-12. An unqualified audit has been achieved for the year.

Peter Everson, Chairman of the Board, comments: “On behalf of the Board, I am pleased we have been able to complete our financial obligations for the 2011-12 fiscal year and publish the Annual Report. We have, as promised, included salary data in the Annual Report, although salary data from 2011-12 up to 2015-16 was publicly released earlier this year.

“2011-12 was a financially difficult year for BHB although much was achieved, including a successful accreditation, quality improvements and new specialties being offered. BHB was under the stewardship of a different CEO, Chairman and Board, and it was the first year that BHB felt the serious effects of Bermuda’s economic downturn.

“Efficiency measures prior to this year were being implemented as part of BHB’s preparation to meet the financial obligations of the new Acute Care Wing (ACW) once it was completed in 2014. The original plan was to pay for the new ACW through a 1% fee rise above inflation plus a 1% efficiency saving within BHB per year for a period of five years. The inflation plus 1% fee rises could not be met due to the economic climate, and the focus became on making savings so that we could meet our obligations without hurting the Bermuda economy.

“On top of a low fee rise in 2011-12, BHB had to manage a write off of Government debt of about $17 million and revenue restrictions imposed by memoranda of understanding with local insurers that lost us about $20 million in revenue. These were required restrictions due to the financial struggles of Bermuda, as they helped control escalating healthcare costs that no one on the island could afford.

“The story of how the previous and current boards began to turn the tide so that we could afford the ACW payments – as has been achieved in the fiscal year 2015-16 – will be covered in subsequent annual reports, although regular updates from BHB have described the budgetary constraints and Modernization Project, which saw a number of major efficiency projects completed.

“For 2011-12, we saw a slip from a surplus to a loss and the challenge became about continuing to improve quality while cutting costs.

“While we are obviously disappointed to be behind on our reporting, the delay was initially caused by a review of the 2011-12 financial statement. The Board made a summary of the Auditor General’s review of 2011-12 available in October 2013, and diligently implemented recommendations to strengthen due process and governance while finalising the auditing process. We are very pleased that our financial statements for this year are unqualified, and recognise that we must continue to maintain and improve our standards to ensure the next few years can be worked through as efficiently as possible so the audited financials can be presented to the public.”

Venetta Symonds, BHB CEO, comments: “I am very pleased to see this annual report released. It represents the first step towards getting all our financial reporting obligations up to date. Despite BHB feeling the harsh realities of the economic downturn, it was an important year where we achieved hospital-wide accreditation, made improvements to medication management, introduced cutting-edge screening for cervical cancer, and completed the ward renovation project in the General Wing. A new CT scanner went live, thanks to a generous donation from the Hospitals Auxiliary of Bermuda. Construction of the new Acute Care Wing continued, and work started in earnest to prepare for the safe transition of services once it was completed.

“The story of the year perhaps was the impact of the economy, but within BHB the story became about the heart and passion of our staff, who sought every way to cut costs while ensuring the services they provided kept pace with continually changing international quality and safety practices. Like an actual storm, BHB does not have the luxury of ceasing or restricting services no matter what the challenges, and our accreditation process requires us to continually improve. When people are hurt or unwell and need care, our doors must be open, and this remains our commitment to care for our community.”

The full 2012 Annual Report can be accessed via the link below.

Link 1: BHB 2012 Annual Report

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