Over 2,100 Signatures On Health Plan Petition

November 27, 2019 | 11 Comments

An online petition launched by the ‘Patients First’ group is urging the public sign in order to “vote no to Bermuda Government’s rushed health reform.”

The petition — which has attained over 2,100 signatures as of this writing – says, “Bermuda, let’s take the time to find other viable solutions to reduce health care costs and protect the under-insured.

The live video replay from the ‘Patients First’ forum held last night:

“Bermuda Government is planning to launch a Unified Health Plan in Autumn 2020. This means a complete switch from the existing health care system.”

“Government is creating a health insurance monopoly and will make it law that every person in Bermuda must pay into it.

“Also, unified health schemes usually rely heavily on income tax to be successful. Are more taxes waiting in the shadows to support this plan?

“In government’s four-month public consultation the Unified scheme is not up for discussion – Government has already decided, despite evidence that most health care stakeholders are against it because of the likely negative impact on patients quality of care.

“Sign this petition to: Vote no to a mandatory Unified Health System that will impact quality of care without reducing costs.

“Vote no to rushed health reform. When asked for the details of the plan at public forums, the government openly says they don’t have the answers. Responsible reform takes time and requires real consultation with all stakeholders. When you vote no, it means more time for everyone to be part of Bermuda’s most important issue: health care reform.”

A spokesperson previously explained that the “Patients First group Bermuda has formed online through social media, started by associations of healthcare providers joining together to help their patients understand the reforms and to raise awareness of the government’s proposal.”

Earlier today, the Government tweeted the photo below — which notes that “nothing has been finalized” — with their tweet saying: “After the Bermuda Health Plan public consultation, working groups will be created to consider the feedback and plan next steps.”

Bermuda Health Plan November 2019

On the Government’s website section about the proposed health plan it states, “Our current system of healthcare is expensive and families are struggling to pay healthcare premiums. As a population, there are too many people who have, or are at risk of having serious diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure.

“The healthcare reforms enhance the overall minimum healthcare coverage provided to everyone – whether it is a Government or private insurer plan. The new coverage will include enhanced benefits such as greater access to primary care and certain prescription drugs. The new Bermuda Health Plan is designed so that Bermuda’s residents are able to access preventative care and early treatment.

“Finally, by creating efficiencies in how essential healthcare is financed, healthcare premiums will be maintained at an affordable level, and co-pays will be limited to approximately $25.”

You can see the ‘Patients First’ petition here on Change.org, and you can view the Government’s information on the proposed plan here.

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Comments (11)

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  1. Spilt milk says:

    I dont feel univesal healthcare is the write choice for BDA, but what are the bullets points against? Just solely because it maybe rushed is no point.. Give me the opposing arguments ffs.. I can come up with a counter against and for it universal hc geez.. Stop doing things on emotion give me the facts before I sign on for or against an issue!

    • Just your average says:

      The government will put the Bermuda Health Plan out to an RFP and select one insurance company to provide the plan for everyone. We will be legally obliged to pay for that plan. This will create a monopoly.
      Right now, if any of the insurance companies provide worse care than the others, we have the option to switch. We won’t have that option with this. So once the insurance company wins the contract with government, they would be free to adjust the quality of care received (by sending us to worse hospitals overseas for example). We would have no recourse.

      As it stands, overall insurance would be more expensive too. The Bermuda Health plan is currently estimated at $500+ per person, and then you have to buy the supplemental insurance to cover what the BHP doesn’t.

  2. PC says:

    We as the People’s Campaign need to rise up!

  3. ROGER LAMBERT says:

    How successful has the Future Care Health Insurance Scheme been for the 65 & Over aged clients? I’d say this has been a testing ground.
    Government has been using the G E H I scheme for their employees for a number of years now. How successful has that been? Another testing ground.
    Government has been an insurance company in those two systems I’d say. Correct me if wrong please. The GEHI deals with working people & retirees also, maybe up to 65, then Future Care after 65?
    The step up will be a National Health Scheme, a Big Step Up realistically I’d say, but not impossible if other related positions, scenarios keep good.
    How do Reinsurance company figure into the new business?

  4. DF says:

    Unfortunately, even if this reached 10,000 there is nothing to force Govt to take notice. I truly believe that, like the UK, if a petition reaches a certain number there should at least be a parliamentary debate on the issue

  5. truthertz says:

    Over 3k now.

  6. Ringmaster says:

    The PLP will ridicule a petition as history has shown. They don’t care. What needs to happen is the silent majority needs to become the very vocal, loud and disruptive (within the law) majority. Time to stop being nice and polite. That ended in 1998.

  7. Politricks says:

    “Finally, by creating efficiencies in how essential healthcare is financed, healthcare premiums will be maintained at an affordable level, and co-pays will be limited to approximately $25.”

    Very slick wording.

    Firstly, on the Government’s FAQ page they have potential copays all the way up to $50.
    Secondly, those small copays are for doctor visits. Thirdly, you will be limited to only TWO specialist visits annually with any further visits to be paid out of your pocket. Fourthly, the have not indicated what the potential copays will be for major medical (as I said they only quote the small premiums for GP visits). Lastly, prescription drug coverage will be limited to $400 annually.

    This plan does not reduce the drivers behind healthcare costs. If anything it will increase for the majority if they decide they want to get better coverage as they wi be forced to buy supplementary coverage.

  8. ROBERT STEWART says:

    There is money in health care that is why govt is going for it. It has nothing to do with improving health; it is all about the money.

    The small time gangster Willie Sutton when asked sometime in the 1930s why he robbed banks responded by saying because that is where the money is.

    The money in 2020 is now in health care, and latter day types are attracted to it.

    Sign the petition, as I have done, and keep them away from our money.

  9. Oh,I see now says:

    The mark this government is attempting to leave during their tenure will bury us all in the long term.

  10. ben says:

    Of course they are trying to protect their gravy train.

    Doctors and private practices in Bermuda have been overcharging the public for decades. Blatantly.

    Sure, medicine requires long educations and up to date equipment, but how is $170 for 10 minutes ok? Prorate that per hour… “Viable solution”? Not so much.

    How can an average person pay crazy rates? People are avoiding looking after their health, because they prefer to have something to eat. Not right.

    Meanwhile Medical practices complain they cannot afford to be in business if they don’t get paid as much. Yet there are flat screens in every dentist office and an abundance of beautiful art adorning the walls. My dentist has sparkly marble floors and cedar carvings all over the shop. I for one could do without the superfluous, ostentatious decadence, for lowering my fees instead. Keep it simple.

    By the way, Co-pay is just a word made to represent “the absolute maximum that the insurance company thinks is reasonable to pay for a procedure, is not enough for us, so we charge you even more”.

    When the friendly receptionist says ” but YOUR portion is only…” they don’t acknowledge that the entire amount that insurance company pays is ALSO paid in FULL by the patient.

    My GP and Dentist are are very wealthy, as is the Insurance company that makes hundreds of millions of profit for shareholders.

    System needs an overhaul.

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