The Progressive Labour Party called on One Bermuda Alliance Leader Craig Cannonier to publicly apologize for Senator Michael Dunkley’s comments about GEHI Dental Coverage, while the Opposition Leader said there was “no need to apologize.”
On Sunday [July 8] Michael Dunkley said, “Dental insurance coverage for Government employees has been suspended because the Government has failed to pay the premium for their coverage.” The Ministry of Finance then released a statement saying the insurance plan was not been suspended nor cancelled, and called any commentary to the contrary “regrettable and baseless”.
The OBA then provided documents that appeared to indicate that Government workers insurance coverage was “inactive”, with a note showing that as of July 9 the “customer must contact their employer.” BF&M CEO John Wight said, “GEHI premiums are paid up to date, and all Government employees have been, and will continue to be, fully covered for dental treatment provided under the policy.”
The statement released by the PLP said: “We now know that statement to be completely false, and we call on the OBA to retract the statement and apologise for the unnecessary alarm caused to civil servants.”
“Craig Cannonier claims to be in charge of the OBA and the buck stops with him,” said PLP Chairman Anthony Santucci. “BF&M rejected Michael Dunkley’s false and reckless attack. The BPSU said they’ve heard no complaints.
“The fact of the matter is, Michael Dunkley is so thirsty to regain power that he lied to Bermudians and put at risk the private information of innocent civil servants in the process. This is frightening! The PLP will wait to see if the OBA leader will take his Deputy to task for his irresponsible and reckless comments,” concluded Mr Santucci.
In response, Mr Cannonier said: “There is no need to apologize. Michael exposed a situation in which the insurer had changed the status of government employees dental coverage from Active to Inactive – a very serious issue.
“Within 24 hours of us bringing it up, BFM said the situation was cleared up. This matter was brought to our attention by dentists and confirmed by BF&M sources.
“We saw civil servants’ insurance status brought into question – that cannot be disputed – because of premium payment issues with the Government. So we raised the matter and we did so in good conscience, to make sure working men and women did not pay the price for the action or inaction of others,” concluded Mr Cannonier.
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