Government: “Concerned About False Claims”

February 12, 2020

The Government said they are “deeply concerned about false claims being propagated within the community around the proposed healthcare reform.”

A spokesperson said, “Therefore, the Government would like to reiterate that under the government’s proposal:

  • The quality of healthcare will not change
  • You will be able to keep or choose your own doctor
  • Your core benefits will be expanded to include prescriptions, home care and office visits
  • Your copays will go down
  • The new system will be a collaboration between the private and public sectors. The government will not be operating the new healthcare system on our own.

A video, via the Government, which provides a “summary overview of the proposals”

“We heard so many Bermudians in the community say that the cost of healthcare is simply too high and we listened,” a Government spokesperson said. “The goal of reforming healthcare is to drive down the costs of healthcare for Bermuda’s families.

“As we believe in consultation, we would like to extend an invitation to the organizers behind Patients First to meet with the Minister of Health face to face to discuss their legitimate concerns and the misconceptions they have raised.

“We have just completed 16 weeks of consultation and will soon begin a period spanning at least half a year of working with Bermuda’s health professionals to finalize The Bermuda Health Plan. So, to be clear, the plan has not been finalized and we are certainly not seeking to rush this through.”

“The Government encourages the public to learn the facts about the Bermuda Health Plan by visiting

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Comments (22)

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  1. Question says:

    How about assuring us: You will get exactly the same as you have now with no extra cost.

  2. Funny says:

    Lies, damn lies, and healthcare reform promises.

    • PANGAEA says:

      Preventative Health Care is a positive way dealing with health issues .

      Addiction, occurs in its many forms is a national health issue.

      When you find tour self seeking medical advice for the cure I could be too late.

      You can only blame your self for not taking more time looking after you self for your self.

      ” What you eat is what you are”.

      ” Knowing what to eat is what you will become”.

      Food selection and consumption is critical , sugar is not the only problem which causes complications, over consumptions of fatty foods and carbohydrates add to weight gain and resultant life threatening complications over time , until it is too late.

      The sad part is that the fast food industry will not pay your doctor and hospital bills.

  3. Onion says:

    Where’s the PLP’s concern about false claims being pushed by the PLP?

  4. Missing information says:

    I major piece of information missing…the price! Gov please tell use the price for this per person. Not estimates…

  5. wahoo says:

    This administration has a history of incompetence in everything they touch. What would make this any different? I should have a choice and maybe I do not want the government administering my insurance.

  6. JohnnyB says:

    And here you are making false claims about false claims so you can push through with your agenda. You sound like Trump complaining about fake news’s.

  7. ChrissyB says:

    When it comes to health care should you listen to your doctor or a government that is looking for any way they can get more money and control? Asking for a friend.

  8. Price says:

    The big questions the remains is the cost per person…what about that gov?

  9. MB says:

    I think what’s important now that the government is finally embarking on an offensive and PR campaign of response is to have a few public figures who
    are Fully behind the plan and can explain it well and show
    the benefits and why’s well

    What’s been lacking is A campaign explaining to the public exactly what the government is hoping to achieve with the plan, and exactly what it is
    Most have no clue what it is

    • Joe Bloggs says:

      You are correct. “Most have no clue what it is.”

      Unfortunately, that is because the Government will not tell us what its plan is. We are only told concepts, not details.

  10. aceboy says:

    Who are the private sector “partners”? Not company or Trust names…the people behind them.

  11. Toadinthehole says:

    Then release much more details!

  12. Joe Bloggs says:

    Perhaps if the Government would reveal details of how it proposes to reform healthcare instead of making vague soundbites like “We heard so many Bermudians in the community say that the cost of healthcare is simply too high and we listened.”

    As for the claim that “we believe in consultation”, history simply does not support that claim.

    To say “We have just completed 16 weeks of consultation” and then “to extend an invitation to the organizers behind Patients First to meet with the Minister of Health face to face to discuss their legitimate concerns” seems inconsistent.

    If the Government can now say that

    > The quality of healthcare will not change
    > You will be able to keep or choose your own doctor
    > Your core benefits will be expanded to include prescriptions, home care and office visits
    > Your copays will go down
    > The new system will be a collaboration between the private and public sectors. The government will not be operating the new healthcare system on our own.

    then it has a plan it is not telling us about.

  13. Concerned Bermudian says:

    What about the politicians and civil servants NOT mandatory to change????

  14. truthertz says:

    If people cannot afford the $350 current SHB premium how will these same individuals afford a new $500+ plan?

    And this reform does not address the underlying drivers of healthcare costs. It simply shits the burden from the Govt to the taxpayer.

    On top of that people will now have to pay even more out of pocket for supplemental coverage. As per the most recent stats the vast majority currently have major medical coverage. This plan will make it more expensive for people to retain the same level of coverage.

  15. Leila says:

    We heard you were worried about high healthcare cost, so we decided to bill everyone extra on top of your standard healthcare bill.

    Is that correct?

  16. Evie says:

    Are you people serious they have heard from others and there is a lot of miscommunication and out right lies being told.

    There are people out there that want things to stay there way they are y it’s working for them it’s not working for me n a whole lot of others soooo

    I’m more than ready to hear what they both have to say with both groups together in one place soo yeah lets do this.

  17. Sargasso says:

    The lead slugs on the reassurances issued by the “Government Spokesperson” show clearly why everyone is concerned here; When closely examined, they are meaningless:

    #1) “The quality of healthcare will not change.”

    Nobody thinks the quality of healthcare will change. It surely wont improve and it will likely not get worse – at least right away. The point is that doctors wont suddenly begin giving you bad care; neither will nurses or dentists or therapists. What will certainly happen though is that anyone with health plan at work, or privately or as a part of a retirement agreement for example will face a reduction in what their cover includes. Fewer office visits, fewer physio visits, fewer specialist visits, curtailed overseas care options (with more of the total cost falling to the patient), less prescription cover, and on and on. If you are in this position and wish to keep the same cover you have now then you will have to buy “supplemental cover” from a private insurer. Government says nothing about this because they are fully aware that the total cost (The new plan plus the supplemental) will be much higher than whatever you have now.

    #2) “You will be able to keep or choose your own doctor”

    This assumes that I can get an appointment. The reality is that the Govt system will pay my GP less than she currently gets from my insurer. It will also limit what she can charge in addition. Assuming she does not wish to fire staff or cut back on her equipment costs or other costs of running her office, she will have no choice but to increase the number of patients she sees per day. This will increase wait times during the day and also the amount of time till the next booking. I may well be able to choose who I wait to see but I will wait longer for the appointment, wait longer in the waiting room, see them for less time and see them less often. Hardly a description of a better way of delivering my care. Eventually, clinics will have to be set up to deal with things that need a quick response but are not acute enough for the ER. The idea that you will be able to fall and develop a bad sprain or green-stick fracture or develop bad abdominal pains and go see your GP the next day will just not exist in reality.

    #3) “Your core benefits will be expanded to include prescriptions, home care and office visits.”

    This is only true for those who currently have plans which exclude prescriptions, home care and office visits. For starters this is a minority of plans (those with ‘HIP only’). The real issue here though is that you dont have to drastically change the system as it works (so well) now to deliver those benefits to those people; all you have to do is add these items to the current “Standard Health Benefit”. Using a sledgehammer to drive a tack makes everyone wonder what the real intent is.

    #4) “Your copays will go down.”

    Controlling both the insured payment and the copay, and promising that BOTH will go down sounds great as long as you are not the service provider. If I am the Hospital, or the independent nurse or physio or the doctor then my obvious question is: “How can I continue to deliver the same quality of service when the Government simply dictates that my revenue will be less.” The obvious answer is that this is just not going to happen. Anyone who has ever run a business for more that a year or two will confirm that.
    By the way, If my medication cover is limited to $400/yr. then it doesnt much matter if the copay is 30% or 10%; If I need BP meds or Cholesterol meds or Diabetes meds or (god forbid) if I have MS or Lupus (where meds can run in the thousands of $ per month) then I am on my own anyway – my co-pay is 100% after a few days or months. Same for doctor visits; if I am covered for 4 visits per year then the copay on the 5th and subsequent visits is 100%.

    #5) “The new system will be a collaboration between the private and public sectors. The government will not be operating the new healthcare system on our own.”

    Look up “Collaboration” in any dictionary and then find a single case where a any private sector actor has publicly described their contacts with Government (past or future) as Collaboration. A promise from Government to “Collaborate” with anyone is hollow if the other party is not involved in the Collaborative effort. By their own description none of the healthcare stake-holders (possibly except the BHB which is Govt. controlled anyway) is collaborating with this effort. Not at the level of Policy, not at the level of Design and not at the level of implementation. Will Govt. contract out the actual administration of claims and settlements?; probably so. That will NOT however change the fact that the substantial decisions regarding admissability of claims, prior-approval of treatments, limits of cover, and all those things that really determine the Quality of Service that will result. These will all be firmly in the hands of the Government itself.
    Bear in mind also that the main object of all this is that there will be NO ALTERNATIVE. If you dont like the way Colonial deal with your Medical Insurance (private or Group), then you can talk to 2 or 3 other firms about changing things. If you dont like the way the BHP Administrator deals with your cover then you will have no other choice at all. Think about the last time you had to deal with Planning, TCD, Immigration, The Tax Commissioner or any other Govt. Department which is a Monopoly Provider of whatever service you were accessing; Now transfer that experience to a discussion about your diabetes meds or having a lumpectomy versus a mastectomy or needing a second hip replacement to keep you out of a wheelchair or needing a new pair of glasses to read the newspaper or drive or needing frequent podiatry so you can walk or needing meds that run to thousands of $ per month or being accompanied away for a frightening surgery or even getting that surgery approved at the Hospital of your choice…..
    The list goes on and on and the only thing for sure is that if you dont check all the boxes you will end up being told to “Take it or Leave it” and there will be NO recourse.

    As an employer, we often interceded on behalf of employees with our insurer. Yes, it affected our premiums but the ability to do this was a major benefit that is ONLY available when there are separate “pools”. This will simply no longer be possible.
    I have family in the UK and in Canada. Both systems are single payer (Unified). To be frank the only negative things in those two cases are that care is very restricted. For example; To get a GP or Family Doctor in parts of Canada one has to visit a health clinic (staffed by anonymous doctors assisted by ‘practitioners’), often waiting 4 to 6 hours if the case is not life-threatening, and then be referred to a GP. Even then, unless your case requires a specific level of supervision you cannot automatically return to that GP. To have a Family Doctor who you visit routinely for checkups and visits as you need to you have to be placed on a waiting list. I personally know people who have been on these lists for over 4 years. The situation with specialists is similar.
    Access to elective surgery is much more difficult than here in Bermuda. Wait times for things like eye surgery, joint replacement and such are very long (many months or more). There are similar stories in the UK. Then, there are the really bad stories where care is simply denied because a patient ‘does not qualify within the guidelines’. These stories are really horrible; people lose limbs, they are confined to wheelchairs or bed, people are denied access to medications, both preventative and symptom-reducing and instead get much sicker or simply suffer. These are very hard decisions and are hard enough when the are taken in an environment where one has some degree of choice. When the are take by a Government Monopoly provider and there is simply no real recourse – they become devastating.
    The bottom line is that the type of care that ends up being offered by single payer (“Unified”) systems is very different from what we know here in Bermuda. This decision was fine when these systems were implemented in their respective countries because the alternatives were that very large fractions of the populace got no care at all. This is not true in Bermuda. By modifying the SHB and actually collaborating with the insurance providers to extend cover to the uninsured and under insured we could continue to deliver the high quality care we currently enjoy AND deliver it to everyone at affordable cost.

    Finally, regarding Costs; the Unified system which the Government is defending here has NO EFFECT on the underlying cost of care. It will not effect surgery costs or dialysis costs or physio costs or diagnostic costs or laboratory costs or hospital care costs. Most critically it does not address the ‘Elephant in the Room’ among care costs; Medication Costs.
    The notion that the Unified system is directed at reducing underlying costs, or that it can somehow magically make that possible any more-so than it is now, is just PR hype at best and a red herring, intended to distract, at worst.
    Medication Cost is a tough nut. We are just too small to matter in commercial terms when it comes to price negotiation, Unified System or not. This means though that this is the one place where Government has standing to make a really important positive difference. Getting access to distribution at price-scales related to those negotiated by the Canadian and UK Unified Systems is something only the Government can do effectively.
    By Collaborating with the current drug importing Agencies and Pharmacies and going to the UK and Canada at a political level with the objective of gaining access to their supply chains, a real and very substantial reduction in the cost-of-care could be achieved. On the one thing that would make the biggest difference we see nothing being done.

    • Really says:

      All well stated! And maybe it would be of interest that my company offered at cost to bring in OTC and selected prescription drugs for seniors on planes that we own and operate in / out of Bermuda as a community outreach program but this plan was killed by BOTH parties as it would impact the current importer network and drive down what they could charge in their stores!

      No go shout to the politicians! They don’t care – there is no care in their proposed “healthcare”!

  18. Ringmaster says:

    Why is this healthcare change not being applied to Government staff? They keep their comprehensive plan paid for by the private sector and the private sector has increased costs and less coverage for their own. Grossly unfair and it seems this isn’t well known to the public.