The Bermuda Healthcare Advocacy Group [BHAG] said they feel the recent Hospitals Board report released by Health Minister Zane DeSilva is “nothing but a smoke screen riddled with sounding brass and tingling symbols.”
The BHAG was formed in March of this year with a stated aim of improving healthcare in Bermuda beginning at KEMH. The group was founded by a small group of people including Mark Selley and Allan DeSilva, with other members joining after a meeting was held where people were able to voice their concerns about healthcare in Bermuda.
The statement from the BHAG said: “It is unconceivable that the Bermuda Hospital’s Board [BHB] would gloat and attempt to advocate that they have made huge adjustments in their business practice in the face of a pending review. Apparently, they are very confused and imploding under their own double standards.
“BHAG receives on a regular basis countless letters of complaints from persons and families who have experienced less than desirable medical care and attention.
“BHAG contends that you can fool the people sometimes, but you can’t fool the people all the time…there must come a time when enough is enough and someone needs to be held accountable for the deplorable state of affairs at BHB.
“For BHB to claim they have saved 4 million dollars in consultant fees does not address the millions of dollars wasted over the past five years…” the organization said.
“Maybe if the hospital was more transparent with their financial affairs than public speculation would be held to a minim. Moreover, BHB annually receives funding from government, but do not possess the business integrity in sharing with the public their salaries and bonuses.
“The Bermuda Healthcare Advocacy Group would like to encourage the public to sign onto [this website link] and express their concerns by signing their petition. We feel this is the only way that Bermudians can truly have a voice into the affairs of healthcare and help to influence the kind of change we deserve.
“The petition clearly lays out our objective and request for a commission of inquiry and the resignation of the Minister of Health Mr. Zane Desilva and other key contributors to our failing healthcare system. Every vote counts for a Bermuda in desperate need of a healthcare institution that is honest, reliable, accountable and transparent,” said the BHAG.
A BHB spokesperson responded saying: “BHB’s 2011 Financial Statements have been fully audited by the Auditor General and as a requirement of the Hospitals Act 1970 we are required to publish an account of how we invested surplus funds for this year.
“The opening reference from BHAG’s statement indicates they are not aware that we are required to issue the report in this way by law. While the 2011 Report looked at the fiscal year ending 31 March 2011, BHB is looking forward to working with the Ombudsman of Bermuda on our upcoming Clinical and Corporate Review.
“We will also continue to update the community on our actions to continuously improve our quality of care, whilst cutting costs in order to deliver our services at the best value possible as mandated by the National Health Plan.
“In the absence of any supporting facts or formal letters of complaint that we can address from BHAG, BHB staff will continue their hard work to transform services, with a focus on quality and cost control.
“Our hope is that BHAG will understand the important role they could play as true advocates engaged in this process rather than using unsubstantiated and defamatory statements to petition for an inquiry.”