PLP: “UCC Should Remain Open Indefinitely”

September 15, 2014

“The news that passengers aboard an Air Canada flight were treated at the Lamb-Foggo Urgent Care Centre [UCC] reinforces the vital role that this facility plays in Bermuda,” said Senator Renee Ming, Shadow Spokesperson in the Senate on Health.

On Saturday [Sept 13] emergency personnel stood by as Air Canada 942 from Toronto arrived on the island, following reports the flight had fumes emitting throughout the plane.

People onboard complained of sore throat, headaches and irritation of the eyes, and three people were taken to the Urgent Care Center for treatment via ambulance.

Emergency personnel greeting the incoming Air Canada flight this weekend:

air canada in bermuda fire ambulance sept 14

Senator Ming said, “Last year, the people of St. David’s supported by Bermudians from across the island recognized the importance of the Lamb-Foggo Urgent Care Centre [UCC] and marched on the OBA Government to keep it open.

“Since then, the UCC has been kept open but little progress has been made in terms of restoring the functions that make it fully effective. Today, we still do not know when the OBA government will go back on yet another promise and move forward with their plans to shut down the UCC.

“The people of St. David’s and St. George’s having lived through Hurricane Fabian in isolation from the rest of the island understand the importance of the Lamb-Foggo facility . The people whose lives have been saved as a result of treatment at the Lamb-Foggo facility understand it’s importance.

“The patients onboard that Air Canada flight who received emergency treatment at the facility understand the importance of Lamb-Foggo. Why dont the OBA government understand it?

Senator Ming added, “Bermuda I urge us to stand together to ensure that the doors of the Lamb-Foggo Urgent Care Center remain open indefinitely.”

A look at the protest march over the UCC matter held in November 2013:

The debate surrounding the future of the UCC has been going on for some time now, beginning when the the Bermuda Hospitals Board [BHB]  announced last year that they would close the facility, citing financial constraints.

In November 2013, Minister Patricia Gordon Pamplin announced that she directed the BHB to keep the Lamb Foggo Urgent Care Centre open until an “alternative plan is worked out.”

A protest march was also held in November of last year , with crowds of people making their way to the House of Assembly and presenting a petition with thousands of signatures.

In March 2014, the Government said that the BHB will continue to operate the Lamb Foggo Urgent Care Centre to at least March 2015, which they said will allow the Government, and the BHB Board, to fully consider the options.

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Comments (80)

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  1. Onion says:

    Institute a UCC tax on residents of the east end to pay for the extra cost.

    • Jack straw says:

      What!!!!??? Lmao. C’mon.

      • Black Soil says:

        The UCC was built by the PLP to buy votes. Pure and simple. So was GA. Both are failures and did not result in the PLP winning….so now we’re stuck with their steaming pile of poooo.

    • Jim Bob says:

      Does that in turn mean that they should institute a tax to the rest of the island to cover the cost of paying for KEMH? By that same token, does that mean if you are in the east and you need emergency treatment you will be going straight to king edward and not utilizing the facilities of the UCC?

      • Onion says:

        We already do pay tax for KEMH.

        • Jim bob says:

          My point exactly. The tax we pay for KEMH includes the Urgent Care Centre.

          • Creamy says:

            No it doesn’t.

            If a couple of hundred people want a health care facility on their doorstep, they should pay for it.

            If not, they should just use kemh like the rest of us.

            • Jim bob says:

              Actually yes it does include the cost of running the Urgent Care Centre. The UCC does not operate as a separate entity to KEMH. That’s point number one.

              Point number two is that the UCC does not only benefit the people of the East End, it is there for all residents of Bermuda. I am lucky enough to live on Berry Hill Road nearly opposite the hospital, I have had 4 sports injuries which have required emergency treatment in the last year and guess what, I have driven to the UCC every single time as I have found that facility to be much quicker in dealing with my injury rather than waiting at KEMH. Granted I have always checked the waiting time at KEMH before I drive to the UCC.

              And before we turn this into race, I am black. I am bermudian. And I also believe that both political parties are as bad as each other.

              • Creamy says:

                So you had time to check at the hospital yards from where you live, before driving to Lambe Foggo. I rest my case. This facility is for bumps and bruises. Splinters and aspirins. It’s a waste of money, and it is not needed.

              • aceboy says:

                4 boo boos.

                Basically we should pay for another facility because despite the fact that you live next door to the hospital, the wait is too long for you?

                Wow.

                • ya right says:

                  Freedom!! People should have freedom of choice whether they want to go to UCC and be seen fast or wait 3 hours in KEMH Acute Care Wing.

    • smh says:

      Soooo that means only east residents can use it? Good luck waiting in Paget next time you break your arm!

      • savedmylife says:

        …or have an asthma attack.

        • Strike fund says:

          Tea anyone?

          • Impressive says:

            in these times, not only are finances hard to come by. In addition to other things being in short supply i.e. common sense, compassion, strong moral base, apparently we must now add “maturity” to the list. oh me oh my.

    • Tolerate says:

      Wow,
      I’m from the East and I am completely baffled how you have only managed 5 Dislikes. Well the day is still young. I too am a realist when it comes to what this Government can afford; but really a “UCC tax on residents of the east end?”
      Do you know how dumb that sounds?
      SMH

      • Tolerate says:

        Oh, and when your new tax is levied; the UCC will only accept people with residency in the east.
        Have a fun time at Clearwater, Black Horse, Gombeys or St.David’s Cricket club the next time your in my neck of the woods. Hope when your enjoying the “East”, you don’t have a need of medical assistance.

        • Creamy says:

          So what? If I get a splinter in my toe I’ll go to KEMH. Big deal.

          And if I have a bad accident, Lambe Foggo can’t help anyway.

          If a couple of hundred people want a health facility on their doorstep, they should be the ones to pay for it.

          If not, go to KEMH like everyone else.

          • Jim bob says:

            Your comment and approach are so short sighted.

            The Lamb-Foggo/UCC not be able to help you if you have a bad accident but they can take some of the load off of the KEMH emergency department so that if, God forbid, you are in that bad accident you talk about then you will have a bed/bay to be seen by the emergency Dr and you won’t have to wait 4 or more hours because the KEMH emergency department is overloaded and back logged with less urgent accidents and emergencies. Common sense.

            • Creamy says:

              Lame. Those same doctors should be deployed at KEMH, where they can serve the whole community, and where they can address life-threatening accidents and illnesses. They should not be deployed at a part-time under-utilised first aid post that only serves a small subset of the population.

              • Jim Bob says:

                Not every accident is an emergency, thats perhaps where you are not grasping the concept. However, those accidents may require immediate attention.

                As for deploying doctors to KEMH where they serve the whole community, are you willing to say the same for the police and their under-utilized police stations in St. G and Somerset? Perhaps we should just have them centrally in Hamilton so they can serve the community as a whole.

      • hmmm says:

        Everybody wants the Facility, but it is not a neccessity and won’t save lives.

        It’s costing the whole country a chunk of change and only operational for part of the day.

  2. serengeti says:

    First aid was administered to 3 people. The only reason they were taken to Lambe Foggo was because (a) they only needed first aid, and (b) it was a shorter drive than the hospital.

    If there had been a life-threatening issue, or serious injury, they would have gone straight to the hospital.

    Trying to pretend that this “reinforces the vital role that this facility plays” is just plain silly.

    • sonso says:

      “Trying to pretend that this “reinforces the vital role that this facility plays” is just plain silly.”

      Have you met the PLP before?

    • Family Man says:

      And add to that, the fact that it was moving day at the hospital.

    • Too right serengeti but the PLP cannot waste any opportunity to try to paint this facility as a ‘must have’ rather than an ill thought out waste of money and valuable resources.

  3. Granted, it is conveniently located and has proven to be of importance yet, it’s a business and when a business isn’t being self sustaining then common sense is to close it down or cut back hours of operating.
    I believe that has been done. The business under the B.H.B. is weight around their ankles and until monies can be found then unfortunately it just may have to remain opened on a part-time bases.

    • Tolerate says:

      This is exactly why the government clinic housed in that old building needs to be moved to this new facility. There are Dental and Medical requirements being addressed there that can be better utilized in the more modern facility.
      Why is there no push by the St. George Senator or M.P’s. to use THIS AVENUE to justify their cause for the UCC?
      Because certain sectors of the community don’t want to have to go over to st. David’s.
      Why would you continue paying for two facilities five minutes apart when the Services can be provided by one?
      That’s the questions that should be asked and addressed.

      • I must admit Tolerate, your suggestion make sense. it’s true, cents will save dollars if place in the correct places…

  4. Politricks says:

    “The people whose lives have been saved as a result of treatment at the Lamb-Foggo facility understand it’s importance.”

    That’s funny as even the original PLP business plan notes that the UCC is not designed nor capable of providing life saving procedures and is only able to treat non-life threatening issues.

    It is a boo-boo clinic. But I digress, continue on with the mistruths and hyperbole.

  5. watching says:

    Why do OBA’ers want this facility closed no matter how much good it does? Makes you wonder if there is an OBA supporter lined up to use the facility for their own operations, no pun intended.

    • Sandgrownan says:

      It wasn’t a good idea, isn’t a good idea and was built to be used as a political football that we can ill afford

      • PBanks says:

        Oddly enough, the initial plan was to have another UCC facility set up in the west as well. Then we could have had two facilities that would be targeted for closing.

        • hmmm says:

          It was built to get votes in the east as power was the desired outcome of the PLP.

        • Creamy says:

          You sound like Paula Cox. “I’m going to give myself a 10% pay increase, but now it’s only 5%, so that means I took a 5% pay cut”. Same logic.

          • PBanks says:

            Um, Creamy, I’m only saying what the PLP had planned to do with regard to setting up clinics. If they had built a second clinic, then we’d be now in a position where both facilities would have been targeted as being excessive costs. Not sure why that deserves me being labelled as a Paula Cox.

    • LOL (Origninal TM*) says:

      Change the channel you watching the wrong show.

      LOL

    • Onion says:

      Because it costs $422 per visit and gets less than 15 people per day.

  6. Rhonnie aka BlueFamiliar says:

    I doubt I’m the only one who was waiting to see how long it would take the PLP to grab this particular straw.

  7. campervan says:

    ….says the party that trashed the economy, chased off a chunk of the population and spent us into a massive hole.
    It would be nice to keep it yes, but the responsible people now in charge of our economy (thank goodness) have to make that judgement call.

  8. Cow Polly says:

    I’ve been treated at the Lamb Foggo clinic a few times for injuries sustained playing sports – xrays and strapping required. It was a fantastic alternative to the long lines in emergency at King Edward but at the end of the day, it was luxury that today’s Bermuda cannot afford.

    • Onion says:

      If KEMH was run properly there wouldn’t be lines there.

      Let’s hope this new Hospital sorts that out.

      • Jack straw says:

        Now that’s BS. Emergency waiting lines are moderate to long just about anywhere on earth. BTW,it’s a new wing not a “new hospital” as some will say.

      • Jim bob says:

        It’s not a new hospital. It’s a new wing. Big difference, that’s number one

        Number two, if I buy an old car with a broken down engine and put a new coat of paint on it will the engine suddenly start to run as if it was grand new again? Answer: no. Let take that same analogy and apply it to your comment above regard what you say is the new hospital. If you said that KEMH emergency dept wasn’t run properly at it’s old location then what makes you think it will become this well oiled perfectly running operation now that it has been moved to a new location? The management remains the same. #justsaying

    • Tolerate says:

      Yes you are correct; but lets ask ourselves, is the facility in place to attract customers, or is it there if required. Unfortunately, know one wants to have to go to the hospital, but on can’t argue to close it if not enough people go. I believe it has a use but it needs to be better managed and provide more services.

  9. somuchless says:

    Renee this was a one off case. Get over it and stop wining. If you suggest that the clinic should remain open you foot the bill. Ya right. Let’s see if she’ll fight to keep it open after that.

  10. aceboy says:

    Sure…and we should hand out buckets of cash to those who need it, indefinately.

  11. Joonya says:

    Sure if you tell us where that stash of money trees are, or better yet find the $800M. This is why people are nervous if you lot get back in power. You cant run an country/economy/business/organiztion at a loss. You dont seem to get that, and thats why it would be very scary if you were to control the purse strings again. Spend spend spend.. here we are..

  12. faith says:

    How about we try for an alternative solution that can make everyone happy that doesn’t drain pocket books or leave those only requiring basic care to take that long, unnecessar trip to KMEH?

    No need to reinvent the wheel here, lets look at smaller community models and how they deal with non-life threatening medical treatment.

    Maybe instead of keeping the Lamb-Fogle clinic open at a loss the government can pay a stipend to volunteers with medical experience to be on-call in the event their services are needed.

    • PBanks says:

      Barbados has a series of polyclinics spread across the island, if a comparison can be initiated. Mind you, Barbados is a larger country with a larger (and for the most part, poorer) population. And, they also have income tax.

      I suspect simply that BHB simply doesn’t have the funds to sustain multiple outposts for healthcare at this time, and unless a model where a wealthy donor is willing to provide funding for said clinics, it’s going to be difficult.

  13. Rhonda says:

    Oh it’s going to stay open alright,..will it continue to belong the people is the real argument….

    • @ Rhonda,

      Yawn!! and no it shouldn’t stay open, it needs to be closed. It’s a glorified band aid centre that we cannot afford. If the Govt allows someone else to run a business there and we get a reasonable rent then great. If the building gets sold off at market cost or near enough that’s fine too. It should never have been built!

      This facility is co-named after my great Granny, my entire extended family lives in St Davids as does my mother (a senior) and my older brother and with all that even I cannot support it staying open.

  14. Triangle Drifter says:

    Must be nice to be able to flap your jaws, make a noise & not have to engage the brain first.

    • Jack straw says:

      That can be said to you as well for all of the $#!+ that you put up on this blog. I guess only your opinion and maybe a few other OBA diehards matter.lol.

      • Triangle Drifter says:

        Sorry to disappoint you but I am not a member of the OBA though, in general I do support their philosophies.

        Sorry, but I am not a die-hard either. Unlike the PLP the OBA is not a lost cause. They are only just getting into their stride & should be around for a long time.

  15. haha says:

    She’s only trying to make herself look good for votes at the next election in St. Georges! HAHA ya funny girl…go long!

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      Nah…its her turn to make a noise this week. Have to try to appear to be relevant you know.

  16. Dreads says:

    The PLP spent all the money,now the St David islanders have to suffer.
    Go after the $800 million that is not accounted for!

  17. peter pancake says:

    Ultimately, choices have to be made. I think there is significantly more merit in re-opening the Medical Clinic at KEMH for the ever increasing number of people without insurance. We were promised by a former Health Minister that the Clinic would re-open by November 2013 at the latest. Clearly that didn’t sit well with Symonds who thwarted the plan. Why would that surprise anyone? BHB is playing a major role in bankrupting the healthcare system and even the insurers are encouraging people to go overseas for procedures as it is cheaper than the cost in Bermuda. It will be interesting to see how full the begging bowl is, to pay for the rent in the new atrium. I doubt there will be an UCC for very long.

    • LOL (Origninal TM*) says:

      Yes but the BHB has ordered that all Doctors that could write referal letters not too. Insurers can’t help you without the letter that the Doctors provide. Doctor’s here think they can treat things that specalist treat and they are mostly all GPs. We don’t even have certin types of doctors here and these GP say they can treat the issue but then they just do what I would do check the internet…

      LOL health care here is a joke for anyone who dissagrees I know people who have missing body parts due to the doctors treatment of things they are not qualified to treat. I also know more people who went away for a second opinion only to be told that whoever told them that a body part had to be removed was unnessesary and often an out dated treatment option. So forgive me if I do not let doctors here treat anything other than what they are trained to do.

  18. Takbir Karriem Sharrieff says:

    It just makes good common sense to have an alternative hospital facility at either end of the Island in case of emergencies…..but then…O.B.A is not known for good common sense is it..?.Sorry I forgot ….it stands for Old Bull….Again..!

    • Sad says:

      Blah, blah, blah.

      You’ve been so misled that ou actually think the UCC can perform the same tasks as the hospital ER. That’s how propaganda works though now isn’t it?

      It does not treat life threatening injuries and never has since day one.

      But keep on keeping on my friend.

      Oh and BTW the PLP promised a west end UCC in the last election. So it is an exams of yet another broken PLP promise or the fact that once they discovered the east end UCC was a drag on finances they made the decision to break their promise for financial reasons. Choose one.

    • hmmm says:

      It is not an emergency facility. So why is it needed ?

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      Oh puhleeze!!! You can be at KEMH from virtually anywhere in the Island in less tha 30 minutes. You need to look around & see what it is really like to be isolated & be hours away from even basic healthcare.

    • Creamy says:

      I would like a full Accident and Emergency facility five minutes walk from my house. It would be nice. But that doesn’t stop it being a stupid idea.

    • aceboy says:

      Please…this island is 21 miles long. In a perfect world we would have a health clinic on every corner…but your “boys” spent all the money. Good sense is one thing…being BROKE is another. That is the legacy of the PLP.

  19. sebring says:

    the clinic lamb should be kepted and used as a first point of entry for all pasengers and crew that take ill and have to be treated localy! renamed to represent all of bermuda ! and so shall the airport become Bermuda international ! Laws should be passed prohibiting any and all government buildings from being named after any political reps to avoid becoming political footballs.

    to help keep cost down why not convert it(lamb) into a teaching hospital! it is very probable some med schools would love to have a chance to have a practice here ! just a thought!

    money!!!! A one dollar tax could be added to all incoming passengers local and foreign when enterin bda to help cover cost for both locations ! if you have money to travel i do not believe one dollar per time will make much if any difference!it is up to us all to be best prepared for our well being!!

    • Creamy says:

      Is that you, Zane?

    • PBanks says:

      Neither Ms. Lamb nor Ms. Foggo were political persons, sebring, if you’re suggesting the clinic was named after politicians.

  20. Ringmaster says:

    A few months ago, I was about 200 yards in on the road from the roundabout by the swingbridge towards St David’s when a tourist ran into a car and was thrown off his scooter. He had a head wound and bleeding. Bear in mind Southside Police station is less than half a mile, and LFUCC less than a mile. After 911 was called it took 5 minutes for the EMT unit from the airport to arrive, about another 5 minutes for the police to arrive from Southside and 20 minutes for an ambulance from KEMH, who took the casualty back to KEMH.
    So LFUCC is clearly a waste of money unless you want a splinter removed or an aspirin.

    • Ringmaster says:

      My last sentence should have read: So LFUCC is good if you want a splinter removed or an aspirin, so is clearly a waste of money.

      • Redman says:

        Ringmaster,

        I can’t even give you a like as it appears the gremlins are at it again. That or I’ve used up my quota of likes/dislikes for the next week… about 10/12 I think. Click on either one now and just dots appear, it usually takes a week or more before it allows me to like/dislike again.

        What’s with that Bernews?

  21. Unbelievable says:

    For the life of me, I still do not understand why the PLP does not understand economics. I’m beginning to think they just don’t want to.

    As stated above, these were not life threatening situations to the passengers. And you mean to tell me that all those vehicles in the picture above came from Lamb-Foggo? Who wants to bet some of those came from KEMH and central? By the time those planes landed, those vehicles and support personnel were there. Even if these were life threatening situations, the passengers would STILL have to go KEMH.

    Ms. Ming, I’m sorry but you’re just playing politics again.

  22. Protagonist says:

    …and tomorrow the complaint will be the rising cost of healthcare.

  23. Puma says:

    causeway,swing bridges,incorperate hydro electric power to light the area up,and dredg St.Georges town cut,look at a braud walk to encircle St.Georges harbour with jetties and pertinent comerce on the same perimiter!Let’s get the led out……action speaks louder than words….speak now or foevah hole yoaahh peace!The way you aww now…..hole yoahh pieces…..hummmpphh…

  24. Lori B says:

    What part of the UCC does not make enough money to sustain itself is this island not getting. Utilization has gone down which makes keeping it’s doors open more grievous to BHB. It was someone nice idea that did not work. The Acute Wing is here and BHB cannot afford to waste money that’s needed to pay for that.

  25. John says:

    Stop getting excited by the diversion of a plane and patients being taken to ucc! They saw 3 people off the plane not 203! 3 people is neither here nor there. UCC is a good place as when people are sat in the ER for stupid minor complaints I’ve heard them being told to go there. But bermudians do not want drive up the road! Stop complaining about ER wait times when the only people who raise the wait times are the same people who are raising healthcare costs by using ER for family dr complaints.