The Minister for Health, Hon David Anderson MHK, and Chief Executive of the Department of Health, David Killip, have returned from a trip to Jersey, where the first in a series of Tri-Island Conferences on healthcare was held.
The conference saw the Ministers and Chief Officers responsible for healthcare in the Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey meet to discuss areas of common interest to the 3 Crown Dependencies.
Minister for Health, Hon David Anderson MHK said:
'The inaugural conference was extremely valuable. As relatively small jurisdictions, there are many areas of common interest between the Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey. As you’d expect, all 3 Islands are facing similar challenges – increasing demand for healthcare and constrained financial resources. Areas of particular interest for joint-working and co-operation are legislation, public health, regulation and benchmarking. As small communities with independent legislatures, the policymaking process can at times be complex, time consuming, and costly. Given our common interests, challenges and goals, there is certainly scope to work together in these areas – such as advancing legislation for recouping costs from Road Traffic Accidents, dealing with capacity in mental health services, and updating medicines law, which all 3 Islands are currently working on independently. Increased co-operation and joint working will mean that resources can be shared, better consistency achieved, and both time and money saved.'
As small Island communities all 3 jurisdictions face many unique challenges, such as having the ‘critical mass’ of cases to warrant certain specialists being based at each Island’s main hospital at a time when medicine is seeing increasing specialisation and a move away from generalisation. In the sphere of Public Health, tackling substance misuse is a challenge faced on all 3 Islands, and a close working relationship already exists between the Crown Dependencies. The conference also saw discussion on performance management and the prospect for each Island to benchmark itself against the other Crown Dependencies whilst also examining means to share resources in terms of regulation and independent review.
Chief Executive of the Department of Health, David Killip, said:
'It’s very easy for the Isle of Man to find itself making comparisons between services available locally and those in the UK. Whilst this is quite right and proper in many instances, our colleagues in Jersey and Guernsey – as the only other Crown Dependencies – represent a more realistic base for comparison. All 3 jurisdictions are geographically separated from the UK, based on small Islands, with modest populations, and enjoy separate and distinct legal and parliamentary systems and governments. Whilst there are of course differences and each Island is unique, there is clearly great scope in addressing common challenges together. Of particular interest is the possibility of benchmarking services against one another, and working on joint regulation and inspection to enable more objective and independent reviews that have a better understanding of the issues facing small jurisdictions.'
It is envisioned that the Tri-Island Conference will become a regular forum to ensure momentum. The next meeting has been tentatively agreed for February 2013.
The attendees were:
Isle of Man:
- Minister for Health - Hon David Anderson MHK
- Chief Executive for the Department of Health - David Killip.
- Minister for Health and Social Services - Deputy Anne Pryke
- Chief Executive for Health and Social Services - Julie Garbutt.
- Minister for Health and Social Services - Deputy Hunter Adam
- Chief Officer for Health and Social Services - Mark Cooke.