Medical Doctors Association On Legislation

May 28, 2024 | 0 Comments

The Bermuda Medical Doctors Association has proposed revisions to the Bermuda Health Council Amendment Act 2024.

A spokesperson said, “The Bermuda Medical Doctors Association [BMDA] has commissioned Carey Olsen Bermuda Limited to conduct a legal analysis of the Bermuda Health Council Amendment Act 2024 [BHCAA 2024]. This analysis highlights several of the critical concerns held by the BMDA and suggests revisions to the proposed amendments to the Bermuda Health Council Act 2004 [BHCA 2004] in order to ensure the protection of privacy, proportional penalties, and clarity in legislative language.


“On March 15, 2024, the BHCAA 2024 was introduced in the House of Assembly and passed on May 3, 2024. The BMDA, representing a diverse group of over 300 physicians in Bermuda, including community, hospital, government, student, resident, and work permit physicians, was not consulted during the formulation of these amendments. The BMDA finds this lack of consultation surprising given the significant implications of the BHCAA 2024 on healthcare delivery in Bermuda.

Key Concerns

“The legal analysis commissioned by the BMDA and conducted by Carey Olsen Bermuda Limited has identified the following key issues with the BHCAA 2024:

“Arbitrary Data Sweeps: The newly proposed section 5[2] of the BHCA 2004 grants the Bermuda Health Council [Council] broad discretion to collect data, which could lead to arbitrary data sweeps without proper ministerial guidance. This could have unintended consequences on healthcare delivery.

“Privacy Protection: The newly proposed section 5[3] of the BHCA 2004 does not adequately safeguard personal privacy and commercially sensitive information. The BMDA recommends implementing more privacy protections to ensure that privacy is the rule rather than the exception when it comes to healthcare.

“Disproportionate Penalties: The penalties outlined in the newly proposed section 5[4] of the BHCA 2004 are excessive. The BMDA advocates for penalties that are consistent with comparable statutory provisions, and which do not punish accused who have a “reasonable excuse” for failing to comply with the demands of the Council.

Proposed Revisions

“The BMDA proposes the following revisions to the BHCAA 2024 to address the identified concerns:

“Section 5[2]: Information requests by the Council must be supported by clear written directions from the Minister and must be reasonable, proportionate, and necessary in the context of the Minister’s directions.

“Section 5[3]: Ensure all information disclosed to the Council remains anonymized, and all commercially sensitive information is protected, unless otherwise explicitly required by the Minister’s direction.

“Section 5[4]: Adjust penalties to align with comparable statutes, imposing administrative fines without the threat of imprisonment and incorporating a “reasonable excuse” defense for accused who are subject to administrative fines.

BMDA’s Commitment

“The BMDA remains committed to collaborating with the Bermuda government to ensure that any amendments to the BHCA 2004 enhance healthcare delivery while protecting the rights and interests of patients and healthcare providers.

Next Steps

“The BMDA has submitted its proposed revisions and legal analysis to the Premier of Bermuda, the Hon. E. David Burt, JP, MP, and other key stakeholders. The BMDA urges the Bermuda government to seriously consider these recommendations, avoid unintended consequences from the amendments, and ensure a balanced approach to healthcare regulation.”

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