Dial 911 for Health Care

 

This story in The Royal Gazette

 really should serve as yet another wake up call.
The health system in Bermuda is bust: $1bn and counting for a population of 65,000 people. My math is bad, but it does not really have to be spelled out, does it?
This paragraph in the story is the most telling: And while it has been suggested that hospital doctors paid on a fee-for-service arrangement may have been “incentivised” to carry out unnecessary procedures, the BHB is now hoping to curb patient demand for tests which may be pointless.”
The story continues: The BHB is developing ‘best practice’ guidelines to provide “documented clinical evidence justifying certain diagnostic tests”.
And it goes on to say that people in Bermuda have more tests than virtually anywhere else in the world – but we are by no means to healthiest lot in the world, far from it.
It is one of two things: greedy or inadequate doctors, it is not the patient. And before the doctors dial their lawyers to sue me – the majority are brilliant. (By the way, the story on the RG’s website was not taking comments which was a shame as this is an issue that needs discussing urgently.)
When I was Acting Editor of The Gazette I was approached by the Bermuda Health Council to see if I would partner them in a campaign to help reduce health costs.
After listening, I said no, but only because I would have been supporting a campaign that could have brought hardship to the paper’s readers.
I did say, however, that I would carry stories about the need to cut costs and explain to the paper’s readers why it was necessary, plus .
Why is it necessary? When people my age are retiring we will not be able to afford to live on this Island, such will be the cost of health insurance. Either that, or the elderly will be a huge burden on their children. I for one, do not intend that to let that happen.
Why has it got like this? Well, it didn’t really matter in the ‘good’ times – we all took it for granted that the ‘good’ times would continue. People got rich, checks and balances were not in place and undoubtedly some people saw the opportunities and milked the system.
We are now having a massive dose of reality and the consequences are going to be painful. There is a big bill to pay, someone has to pay it.

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