Column: An Agenda For Better Healthcare

June 6, 2019

[Opinion column written by MP Tinee Furbert]

June is a very reflective month for me as a healthcare professional, a woman and a Member of Parliament.

Each day, I fight for the needs of the people of this country, specifically women. I am passionate about improving lives and doing so through legislation that addresses domestic violence, improves child support, introduces the requirement of nursing space in the workplace and that improves access to healthcare benefits, to name a few.

As I reflect on June of 2015, I am reminded that the OBA brought forth legislation, the Health Insurance [Miscellaneous] Amendment Act. This legislation would have allowed for an adoption of guidelines from the US and would have reduced access to mammography in Bermuda.

Unfortunately, this was a clear attempt by the OBA to mislead Bermudians and lead us to believe that over-diagnosis and unnecessary exposure were occurring at significant levels to warrant limited access. The truth is, access to mammography on the island was actually changing and saving lives.

Mammograms are a tool used to measure the detection of and diagnosis of breast cancer. As a Parliamentarian who is constantly on the doorstep listening and championing the concerns of women, I am disheartened by the fact that too many of our mothers, sisters, aunts, daughters and friends are affected by the strife of breast cancer or know someone who has lost the battle of this unwanted condition.

The reality is, health status is affected by access to health services and the quality of delivery. Access, in this instance, to mammography would have been taken away if women and men did not show their concern and discontent with the proposed legislative change by the former Government.

Similarly, quality must be continually demonstrated through physicians delivering care that is on par with international best practice for prevention and detection, the availability of proper equipment for testing and administering services all delivered by passionate professionals focused on maintaining healthy patients. It is important that the Government ensures both quality and access to health services are afforded to the public.

As such, the Progressive Labour Party believes that early detection of cancer, oncology care and treatment is paramount. We have endorsed improved oncology and radiation services provided in Bermuda so that persons with cancer could have the close support of their families during diagnostics and treatment.

This year as I go for my mammogram, I am comforted that this legislation was not supported and consequently women and men have access to this crucial test. The work, however, must continue as together we tirelessly implement legislation and create policies to improve the lives of all Bermudians.

- Tinee Furbert


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Comments (10)

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  1. Red rose says:

    Good grief! Still behaving like you are in opposition – talking about something that happened years ago!
    What i am concerned about is now – and how the PLP has increased my health insurance my taxes and my grocery bills!
    This column is an embarrassingly pathetic!

  2. Toadinthehole says:

    Yeah right – and you cannot even fix a bus timetable …

  3. Ringmaster says:

    Unclear what the message is here. Perhaps the PLP could get the PR empire to write a release that highlights the positive things they have done and are doing with zero reference to the OBA. Every comment released indicates the PLP have no answers as a Government except maintain their election mode and deflect and criticize the OBA.

    • 2Bermudaz 2bermudaz says:

      Yup, stuck in permanent opposition mode – scary

    • Question says:

      The message is that she doesn’t want us to think about the extra $5,000 a year for a family of 4 in health insurance costs caused by her PLP government.

  4. truthertz says:

    I don’t know about better, but the PLP sure did make it more expensive for 30,000 odd local policy holders.

    Well done MP Furbert and PLP. Well done indeed.

  5. Rotten Onion says:

    2 minute’s of my life I will never get back. What a load of ……

  6. somuchless says:


  7. Survivor says:

    What an irrelevant opinion piece. As a cancer survivor I know first hand the horrors of this disease. Rather than focus on politics why don’t you gather those of us to share with you the real horrors of inadequate diagnosis and poor oncology care on Bermuda. Have you visited our oncology department to actually see how overworked they are with outdated administrative practices. Mammograms are very debatable across the world so rather than talk politics, speak to relevancy like education about cancer starting with genetic risks and life style risks such as obesity. Have you noticed how obese many Bermudian women are? Start there and educate. Get behind women’s fitness and lifestyles. Show your face at sporting events solely for women.

  8. Not exactly says:

    That was embarrassingly devoid of substance.