Medical Officer of Health 115th Annual Report

This report was criticised by the Minister of HSSD as being neutral when;

“It should pioneer, inform and shape the core a reas of health and social care strategy within our Bailiwick, especially bearing in mind the mounting pressures our Island faces in terms of emerging healthcare needs, plus the ageing demographic, where we want people to age well in our Island.”
I totally agree with this statement. I responded to comments made by a previous HSSD Minister, Deputy Hunter Adam.
Sir, I was very surprised by Deputy Adam’s comments about priority setting. As a Member of the Treasury & Resources Board he should be well aware of the benchmarking process currently being undertaken jointly by HSSD and T&R, and a major aspect of this is a prioritisation exercise, a process which has already begun and in which, by the way, the Medical Officer of Health has been involved.
Deputy Adam is correct that prevention is only one of the criteria that need to be used to be
able to prioritise effectively. It also includes safeguarding, urgent and crisis response, early
intervention – to name just three others. That process has begun, as I say, and we are considering various criteria and how to prioritise. I query Deputy Adam’s comments that we cannot compare with other islands. Well, we should. The point is to compare our own costs to similar jurisdictions, whatever their delivery structure is.
How else can we determine whether we are delivering services in the most effective way unless we do?
And finally, the Medical Officer of Health mentions the importance of public engagement.
Well, Members may recall that in the Personal Tax and Benefits Review I mentioned the HSSD Board’s desire to do just that later this year.
Finally, I need to respond to Deputy Adam’s comment that he would have expected a fuller
response from the Board in the covering Report, and I would just like to say that we were given only a few days in which to read it and comment; so that might explain the brevity, but it does not mean that we have not taken it seriously.

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