‘$723 Million Dollars Must Be Spent Better’

February 19, 2020

“The Minister of Health looks forward to engaging with the Patients First group to consider its proposed solutions towards universal health coverage,” the Government said today, with the Minister adding that “the $723 million dollars Bermuda spends annually on healthcare can and must be spent better.”

A government spokesperson said, “The Minister of Health looks forward to engaging with the Patients First group to consider its proposed solutions towards universal health coverage. Bermuda’s adoption of this World Health Organization goal is vital for the country to achieve equitable healthcare access and Patients First’s support in this endeavor is welcome.

“Following the Fiscal Responsibility Panel’s 2019 Report, the Government remains committed to establishing, over a three to five year period, a single payer for Bermuda’s core health insurance package. The Fiscal Responsibility Panel is an independent body, established under the OBA Government, that assesses Bermuda’s fiscal and economic state annually. This year’s report said of the Government’s health reforms:

“The Panel applauds the Government’s initiative to address a very complicated but important fiscal issue. It recognises the challenging task ahead for the Government in seeking to reform a well-established health care financing system that has conditioned the behaviour of employers, citizens and health care providers.

“The objectives being sought appear eminently sensible, and broadly in line with the health financing reforms of other industrial countries faced with the challenges of an ageing population. In particular, it is very difficult to see how meaningful cost containment can be secured without the proposed shift to a “single-payer” model, which can use its monopoly purchasing power to drive down prices.” [Fiscal Responsibility Panel Report 2019, pp.23]

“Further, the Government is encouraged by the American College of Physicians’ [ACP] recent statement supporting a single payer system as a means to achieve universal health coverage.

Minister of Health, Kim Wilson, said, “I am thoroughly encouraged by the Fiscal Responsibility Panel’s endorsement of the course of our health reforms. This independent assessment validates the Government’s position that a single payer model will serve Bermuda’s interests best.

“Likewise, I fully support the recommendations of the American College of Physicians, whose analysis of a health system similar to Bermuda’s is completely applicable locally. Bermuda’s current multi-payer system prevents us from reaching our goals of cost containment and universal health coverage.

“The $723 million dollars Bermuda spends annually on healthcare can and must be spent better to ensure more healthcare dollars are spent on healthcare, rather than administrative duplication and inefficiency.”

The spokesperson added, “The Ministry of Health reminds the public that official information on the Bermuda Health Plan is available here. An alternative website utilizing the “Bermuda Health Plan” name has been set up by the Patients First group; the public is advised that this web site contains inaccuracies and does not reflect accurate information on the health system or the proposed reforms. The public is encouraged to use official sources to obtain factual information.

“The Bermuda Health Plan is the Government’s proposal to reform the way health funds are organized so that everyone can have access to affordable, decent health coverage and health spending can be contained. The reforms will help lower co-pays, allow persons to keep or chose their doctor and will maintain quality of care.”

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Comments (14)

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  1. Politricks says:

    The problem is that the majority of the population will see their healthcare coverage reduced and made more expensive by requiring supplemental coverage to be purchased.

    A simple, but important, point that the Minister conveniently ignores and I would say a point that is the biggest concern for the majority of the skeptics.

  2. Ringmaster says:

    Will there still be 2 plans – the comprehensive one for Government employees paid for by the private sector leaving the private sector to buy their own with less cover? Or will all public and private sector employees be on the same plan at the same cost?

  3. JohnnyB says:

    How about you start by not giving every patient an MRI for every little thing at a certain clinic on the island.

  4. paulP says:

    723,000,000 divided by 60k people is $1000/month p/p, no way around that. Single payer / aka healthcare for all = everyone paying something? Maybe they should look at where the money goes…..

  5. Say what?! says:

    “The $723 million dollars Bermuda spends annually on healthcare can and must be spent better to ensure more healthcare dollars are spent on healthcare.” Like the money from the sugar tax proposal inna?! Also this is coming from the government, “rather than administrative duplication and inefficiency” isn’t that a little rich seeing as this has been the main issue with our governments over the last 20 plus years, inefficiency to the max.

  6. aceboy says:

    Don’t make me holla! You think this government will do a better job of administration? I don’t want to have to deal with a suck toothing civil servant when it comes to mine and my family’s health.

    The OBA established that panel. Who is on it NOW?

    • Who Gah Its Me! says:

      Aceboy, why are you concerned about government directing us on how we should be running things and being the driving force behind this. There are so many examples of government departments and organizations that are efficiently run and are shining examples of how things should be done.

      For example
      1) Post Office is much more efficient and can run circles around FedEx, DHL and UPS
      2) Marine & Ports is much more efficiently run and better organized than Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Carnival and Norweigan!
      3) Planning Department takes far less time to approve a set of plans than it does for an architect to draw them.
      4) Ministry of Education has a proven track record historically outshines all of the private schools and home schools that spend far less per child. The schools are in great shape, free of mold, filled with students and the best equipment.
      5)Public Works department is the envy of the highway and engineering world! Our streets are paved and free of pot holes. Our bridges and causeways work, the safety signs, pedestrian crossings and street lights are all in excellent shape!
      6)Another example of how things should be done is the Parks Department! We should be proud of the way our parks and beaches look! The are hardly any trees still down from Hurricanes Emily. Botanical Gardens is without a doubt the best place to see an impressive display of plants, manicured trees, and flowers. You will never find weeds in any of the garden displays! Even the Park building on the property and the signs are in pristine condition! In fact two of Bermudas favorite public events the AG Show and Christmas Light display are funded, organized , and set up by the department!
      7)Transportation Department has the best of the best equipment! Buses and Ferry are always on time, routes are never cancelled because they have backup equipment. Bus schedule has been updated many times over last 15 years to ensure we have a schedule that is always changing and developing with the present demands!

      I could keep going on, but I’m sure most of you understand the sarcasm by now. I trust whether you are PRO PLP or OBA – you understand why I don’t want government (PLP or OBA) to interfere with our health system. I’m not against you pulling the hand brake on the health care abuses but you are in no position to say you can do a better job of running things!

      Clean up your own F’N House first and show us examples of how things can be done better and for less! Government, try balancing a budget for once! Minister Wilson, all I ask is that you give the people just one example of a well run department.

      In fact start with the Health Department! How many staff work there and would you dare say that it is run better than the hospital!

      You will get my support when you stop telling our children and persons paying for HIP that you can not pay for certain health based services but at the same time give incarcerated criminals, child molesters,and murderers free healthcare, dental and vision!

  7. Really? says:

    The Patients First website is inaccurate? Really? This coming from a clueless and worthless Health Minister who I can only agree with one point which is OUR $773 million needs to be spent more wisely like only paying the Minister if the budget is balanced each year!

  8. Onion_peels says:

    I don’t know about $723 million but I know at least $1,200,000 could have been spent better.

    Lead by example or get out of the way.

  9. Joe Public says:

    Dear Ms Wilson,
    Your government cannot run a bus schedule and trash pickup so please in Lords name do you propose to run a Health Care Plan believing you can drive done costs. All you have done is to drive up our taxes with nothing to show for it!!
    If you are so concerned you could have been at the meeting which was quite a different crowd that what you had surrounding the HOA a few years back and you could have discussed your envisioned plan but as you have not released anything we are all fearing the worst and do not want your plan implemented until we have answers.
    What do you not understand???

  10. Kevin Benevides says:

    Please can we this government at least put this in the simplest of forms state what we now have and what we now be faced with under their plan
    simply as I pay my healthcare will I receive the same coverage when the plp plan is imposed
    that is what matters

  11. Concerned Bermudian says:

    So much of our tax pays for all these stupid reckless riders/drivers on our roads. It is so beyond out of hand. Make our roads safe again!!! You will then significantly lessen the medical expenses.

  12. Mark says:

    Must be part of the master plan to drive the “other” half of the two Bermudas to leave.