STATEMENT BY THE HONOURABLE VINCENT O. WHEATLEY
MINISTER FOR HEALTH AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
AT THE FIFTH SITTING OF THE FIRST SESSION OF THE FIFTH HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY
OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
TUESDAY, 31ST OCTOBER 2023
Re-accreditation of the Dr. D. Orlando Smith Hospital
Madam Speaker, I am thrilled to share a momentous achievement that I am certain will help build and maintain confidence in our healthcare system. Last month, the BVI Health Services Authority (BVIHSA) reached an incredible milestone by securing re-accreditation from the esteemed body, DNV-GL (Det Norske Veritas from Norway and Germanischer Lloyd from Germany). This accomplishment is the result of relentless dedication and hard work by the exceptional team of the Authority.
Madam Speaker, the magnitude of this achievement is not only that the Authority regained its accreditation; this accreditation has been extended for another three years! This represents a giant leap forward for our healthcare system and embodies our commitment to excellence. In 2020, the initial accreditation made Dr. D. Orlando Smith Hospital the pioneer in the Caribbean region to receive accreditation from DNV-GL, a body that accredits over 635 hospitals in the United States of America and 15 hospitals across Brazil, China, Iceland, Slovenia, the Czech Republic, and Thailand.
Within our region, we stand shoulder to shoulder with distinguished healthcare facilities such as Health City Cayman Islands, Barbados Fertility Centre, Bermuda Hospitals Board, and Doctors Hospital in the Bahamas, all accredited by Joint Commission International. Additionally, Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Barbados, Bermuda Hospitals Board, and Interhealth Canada (TCI) LTD in the Turks and Caicos Islands hold accreditation from Accreditation Canada. Remarkably, the BVIHSA, the steward of Dr. D. Orlando Smith Hospital, is one of only three public health systems in the region with internationally accredited status.
Madam Speaker, for those curious about the impact of this accreditation on the BVI, let me underscore its significance. It signifies our Government's unwavering commitment to providing world-class healthcare. This achievement instils confidence in our community, attracts more patients, and champions the cause of safe, high-quality care for the people of the BVI. Through this distinction Madam Speaker, the BVIHSA has proven its mettle and unwavering dedication to offering healthcare services that meet global standards.
The pursuit of international accreditation has been a cherished aspiration of the Ministry of Health and Social Development, spanning multiple administrations. The facilities at the Dr. D. Orlando Smith Hospital were meticulously designed with accreditation standards in mind, backed by substantial financial investments. The recent accolade of an Accreditation Certificate is the culmination of years of relentless effort by our dedicated teams. They have crafted hundreds of new policies, tirelessly reviewed and improved key areas that impact the quality and safety of care delivered by the BVIHSA.
Madam Speaker, the choice of the DNV program was deliberate because it aligns with the BVIHSA's steadfast commitment to patient safety and overall quality. DNV-GL is a preeminent accreditation body that employs a developmental, stepwise approach to accreditation, ensuring organizations like the BVIHSA are in pursuit of excellence, while adhering to globally recognized standards and best practices.
DNV-GL accreditation is widely regarded as the gold standard in healthcare, incorporating NIAHO (National Integrated Accreditation for Healthcare Organizations) and ISO (International Standards Organization) 9001 standards for healthcare, as well as ISO 15189 for medical laboratories. As we move forward, the BVIHSA is committed to maintaining these lofty standards and embracing continuous monitoring and inspections as part of its ongoing journey.
Madam Speaker, the BVIHSA embarked on this path through a meticulous self-assessment, followed by a readiness assessment and a formal assessment of compliance for DNV-GL/NIOSH standards earlier this year. In the second year, they will undergo a follow-up DNV-GL assessment and an ISO 9001 pre-assessment to demonstrate sustained progress. In the third year, they will culminate this journey with an ISO 9001 certification audit to validate the quality of the management system.
Madam Speaker, in closing, I extend my heartfelt gratitude to all those who played a pivotal role in this remarkable achievement. Their dedication, perseverance, and unwavering commitment have ensured we remain on a path of continuous improvement and excellence in healthcare.
Madam Speaker, I thank you.