What are patient safety laws?
Patient safety laws protect the public from avoidable harms by enhancing oversight of healthcare facilities and ensuring that health services are provided in exceptional facilities, by trained health professionals, who use safe medical equipment to diagnose and treat health conditions. The laws do three things:
- Require facilities to have a license which shows they are offering credible health services.
- Encourage necessary and appropriate care even when care delivery may be influenced by financial interests.
- Protect the public from risks and exposure to potentially dangerous equipment.
Why is this happening?
Bermuda must work to align its health system with international standards and practices, like we do in the financial services, aviation, shipping, tourism, and other industries. Anyone can own and operate a health service in Bermuda which may influence the quality of services delivered. Complaints about our health system have increased and become more complex. There is unnecessary duplication of care that exposes the public to avoidable harms. Finally, our healthcare costs are increasing and we are not receiving good value for money.
What will the laws do?
The laws enhance our existing health system infrastructure and formalize standards which most health practitioners already follow including:
- Ensuring that the people delivering health services are appropriately trained to do so.
- Regularly checking that high risk medical equipment meets specific safety and operational standards.
- Verifying that facilities meet basic safety checks.
- Informing the public about financial interests when referring for necessary and appropriate care.
What are the benefits of patient safety laws:
- Enhances patient protection against avoidable risks.
- Encourages patients to make informed decisions based on improved transparency.
- Protects the integrity and reputation of providers by confirming facilities as credible sources of health services.
- Enables health system planning that keeps costs fair.
How can you show your support:
- Ask questions of your health professional and the facilities who deliver care.
- Educate yourself about options to receive and pay for care.
- Support Patient Safety Laws.
- Write to the Health Council and other decision makers.
- Discuss the new legislation with your insurance provider.
- Participate in decisions about your health.