The new Public Health Committee met for the first time in Open and Closed Sessions on Wednesday, 6 September 2017.
During the Open Session, the committee welcomed new Charge Nurse, Mrs Nova Norrie, to the directorate. Nova is an Advanced Nurse Practitioner based at the Hospital. She is also engaged in the training of local nursing staff to run triage and provide minor treatment in the Outpatient Clinics.
The draft Strategic Plan for the directorate was received and its content was discussed and priorities outlined were agreed. The committee resolved to review progress regarding implementation on a quarterly basis.
The draft proposals on the implementation of Lasting Power of Attorney were also received and reviewed. Members resolved to further review the associated forms and provide any commentary via the Chairperson to the Chief Counsel. Barring further amendments, the proposal will be passed to the AG’s Chambers for processing.
Lastly, the Port Health Ordinance was received and accepted for immediate processing.
During the Closed Session, the committee discussed options for revenue collection and the impact of fees and charges on financial access to healthcare. In this regard, potential options to introduce a prepayment scheme and how to understand preference of the community and gain popular support for such scheme was discussed. The committee resolved to bring the issue to Legislative Council for further discussions and to engage with the public in the process of developing potential options.
Options for fees and charges for 2018 were also discussed, reviewed and agreed. Due to inflation, an upward review of fees was agreed. Specific items had fees increased beyond 5% to take into account commerciality, and real costs of providing such services. The final fee schedule will be recommended to the Legislative Council.
The draft Budget for 2018 was also received and discussed. The committee noted the initial ceilings set for financial planning, while acknowledging the demands and pressures on health expenditure.
8 September 2017