Column: Reform & Universal Health Coverage

February 23, 2022

bermuda Senator Arianna Hodgson 2021[Opinion column written by Senator Arianna Hodgson]

Bermuda Health Strategy 2022 – 2027 will provide the vision for a healthy Bermuda and will outline the strategic reforms for our health system. This reconfirms the Government’s commitment to universal health coverage. It is the fundamental right of every man, woman, an child to have access to quality, affordable healthcare regardless of their station in life.

Health Care Reform will strengthen Bermuda’s healthcare system and ensure all people have equitable access to healthcare information and essential services. No one will be forced into poverty due to health care costs.

This strategy includes partnerships and collaboration working with key stakeholders and consultants . As a result, our island will move closer to reaching our goal of Universal Health Coverage [UHC] for all people.

The Bermuda Health Strategy 2022-2027 promotes healthy living and preventative care.“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. Empowering and supporting Bermudians to incorporate healthy habits into their lives requires providing the tools and resources. This will enable all of us to make lifestyle choices that will improve our health and save the country millions of dollars in the process.

The Health Strategy emphasizes eight core areas:

  • Promoting healthy living and preventative care
  • Focusing on people-centered care
  • Understanding our population’s health needs
  • Providing universal access to healthcare coverage
  • Strengthening our healthcare workforce
  • Harnessing healthcare technology
  • Partnership and collaborative working
  • Preventing wasteful care and promoting efficiency

This strategy represents a shift to a more person- centered approach to healthcare which will include individuals in decision making processes and will focus on their individual needs. This ensures continuity of care across service providers which contributes to improved outcomes. This approach to healthcare will meet the needs of individuals and families today and in the years ahead.

Affordable and accessible healthcare is an essential pillar of sustainable development and our island’s success.

Under the current system, 35% of the population cannot afford quality healthcare – including thousands of uninsured and underinsured. Approximately 23% of Bermuda’s population have defined health insurance as unaffordable. Our people are struggling with the ever-increasing cost of medical care, which results in significant stress. It’s a fact that stress can exacerbate potentially deadly medical conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease.

Bermuda has the third highest cost in healthcare in the OECD, spending 11.55% of it’s GDP on health. Prior to the global pandemic, the annual cost of dialysis treatments was 29 million dollars with the demand for services growing by 10% every year.

If we are to promote and sustain a healthy population and economy, we must reform our healthcare system and most importantly provide Universal Health Care for the residents of Bermuda.

Healthcare reform does not happen overnight. The necessary health system strengthening is incremental, and will take place over the long term, initially a period of three to five years. We invite you to play a role by reading The Bermuda Health Strategy 2022-2027 and sharing your thoughts and ideas so that our island moves toward providing access to quality affordable health care for all.

- Senator Arianna Hodgson, Junior Minister of Health


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Comments (5)

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  1. LOL (original) says:

    Health care cost are high due to Government subsidy so we want them to subsidies them more?

  2. Joe Bloggs says:

    “Health Care Reform will strengthen Bermuda’s healthcare system and ensure all people have equitable access to healthcare information and essential services. No one will be forced into poverty due to health care costs.”

    Who is going to pay the difference between basic HIP and major medical if not the employees and the employers? The PLP Government? Will the PLP Government pay that difference for everyone or only for “our people”?

  3. Ringmaster says:

    This is just more electioneering with the PLP defying the laws of common sense, and basic economics. So far I’ve seen nothing to indicate the Government Health scheme, paid for by taxpayers, will be closed and all Government employees will move to the Universal Plan. Has that been agreed, and if not why can’t all residents go on the same plan and enjoy those benefits? Make it simple. As to the proposed Universal Plan, if costs are high now and according to the data 35% cannot afford healthcare, how will it be cheaper for 100%? Does it mean 65% pay for 100%? The costs paid by the 65% has to increase, so it’s more than likely more will choose not to pay.

  4. Girl stop! says:

    Stop ya noise! If you were so good, Burt would have put you as a minister and stop using his reused clowns. PLP is recycled trash.